The Manipur High Court recently closed a Suo Motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pertaining to the maintenance and development of Kangla Fort complex in Imphal.
When this matter was admitted on July 31, 2018, a Division Bench pointed out that the preliminary issue to be addressed in this case is the removal of plastic and other degradable/non-degradable waste from Kangla Fort complex. Further, the Bench was also concerned as to the steps to be taken for improvement of the environment inside the complex.
Status Reports were filed by the authorities from time to time setting out the steps taken by them in this regard.
Reply affidavit dated December 10, 2021 was filed by the Superintendent, State Archaeology Department, Government of Manipur, along with photographs. Therein, he stated as under: During the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were placed on entry of visitors/tourists into the complex but, at present, they are being allowed on all days except Monday.
The roads inside the complex are cleaned on daily basis and the water bodies are kept clean, by tending to the grasses on the embankment and by removal of algae. Aeration of the water is also performed on regular basis. The gardens inside the complex are being maintained properly and so too, the lawns and monuments. Dustbins have been provided in crowded areas at regular intervals. A large Board has been put up near the entrance, elucidating the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ inside the complex, including the banning of plastic etc. Private sweepers/labour are hired for undertaking the cleaning inside the complex. The photographs filed with this affidavit bear out that steps are being taken to maintain the complex properly, noted the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice M.V. Muralidaran.
While considering the PIL, the Court said that Kangla Fort is a major attraction for visitors and tourists. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Imphal city. It is for the State authorities to be mindful of this fact and take all suitable measures to maintain and perpetuate the beauty of all that lies within this complex, including the monuments, trees and water bodies.
“We are satisfied that proper steps are being taken for this purpose at the moment. This PIL case is accordingly closed, reiterating and affirming that the State authorities must always be mindful of the importance of this complex and take all necessary measures to maintain its pristine glory,” the order reads.