Delhi

Ravidas temple: CM writes to Puri over denotification of forest land

Kejriwal offers to rebuild temple at same site in Tughlakabad

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Union Minister Hardeep Puri here on Wednesday seeking a direction to the Delhi Development Authority to initiate the process of de-notifying the forest land where Sant Ravidas temple stood.

The temple, which stood in South Delhi’s Tughlakabad, was demolished on August 10 by the DDA on the direction of the Supreme Court. In his letter to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Mr. Kejriwal also offered to rebuild the temple at the same site once the land is de-notified and made available to the temple society.

Mr. Kejriwal said demolition of the temple has caused “tremendous hurt” to the sentiments of crores of people as Sant Ravidas was a saint, revered not just by the Dalit community, but by all.

Although the temple and all other properties have been demolished, it is still possible to restore the temple, the Delhi Chief Minister said in the letter, adding since the land is under the ownership of the DDA, only the Central government can initiate its de-notification.

“The DDA will have to initiate the process. It will need to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through the Government of NCT of Delhi, for notifying the diversion of the land,” he said.

Mr. Kejriwal sought to assure Mr. Puri that the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government would act in a time-bound manner on the proposal to de-notify the land. “I will ensure that State government takes up the matter immediately and that it is decided in accordance with law in a time-bound manner,” he said.

Reconstruction

On the matter of reconstruction of the temple, Mr. Kejriwal said, “If the Government of India makes the land available to the society that was running the temple, with your support and blessings, the Delhi government will be pleased to carry out the reconstruction of the temple.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 2:33:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ravidas-temple-cm-writes-to-puri-over-denotification-of-forest-land/article29395945.ece

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