CUTTACK: A city-based lawyer has sought intervention of the Orissa High Court to restore and preserve the Gadakhai (moat) of Barabati Fort here and other structures linked to it.
Advocate Shivsankar Mohanty has filed a PIL invoking the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010. Mohanty filed the petition on Tuesday, 19 months after giving a notice by way of a representation to the Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Orissa High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules, 2018.
The representation submitted on June 28, 2018 had sought restoration and preservation of the moat of Barabati Fort and demolition of an authorised road constructed on the western side of the fort by closing or filling up a portion of the moat which is a part of the monument. The fort was declared protected and prohibited area in 1915.
The PIL has sought direction to ASI to immediately clean up the moat by removing the obstructions and restore the moat to its original condition. The petition has also sought direction to the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) regarding completion of the Barabati Fort Development Scheme to develop the Gadakhai into multi-purpose water sport complex within a stipulated period.
Mohanty in his petition alleged that the civic body has been sitting over the time-bound Central Government scheme which was scheduled for completion by December 2012. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of a project for development of the Barabati Fort area into a major tourist attraction in August 2010 after the Centre sanctioned funds for it under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).