The Supreme Court gave permission to demolish the 18th century Patna Collectorate building. Latest News Delhi | Techy Kings

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The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Bihar government to demolish the 18th-century Patna Collectorate building, once used by the British as a warehouse for storing opium and salt, saying “every colonial building No need to save”.

The demolition plan was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Patna chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), which claimed that the building was an integral part of the city’s culture and heritage that should be preserved rather than demolished. And must be restored. .

The state government had issued orders on 31 July 2019 to demolish the dilapidated structure and construct a new building in its place, but the Supreme Court ordered a stay in September 2020.

Unmoved by the petitioner’s argument for retaining the building, a bench of Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Suryakanth said, “We have a large number of colonial-era buildings. Some are from British period, Dutch period and even French period. There may be buildings of historical significance that can be preserved, but not all buildings.

The state government, represented by senior advocate Maninder Singh, pointed out that the building was in a dilapidated condition and posed a grave danger to people. The state further pointed out to the court that the Bihar Urban Arts and Heritage Commission had approved the demolition of the collectorate complex on June 4, 2020. In 1972, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) conducted a survey in Bihar and identified 72 sites. /Memorials deserving of the historical monument tag. However, the Collectorate building was not included in the list.

“What heritage can this building have?” said the bench. From the pictures provided to us, we can infer that its roof has collapsed in several places. Even ASI has said that it has no legacy value. It was a warehouse used by the British to store saltpeter and opium.

The court cited examples like the jail where freedom fighters were jailed during the freedom struggle which are of historical importance and need to be preserved. As for the existing building, he said, “This building is endangering the safety of innocent citizens. How many human lives do you want to risk by putting up this structure?

INTACH’s lawyer Roshan Santhalia told the court that the building was not as unsafe as the state had assumed. “The building is not in such a bad condition. There should be an impartial assessment of the building,” he argued, seeking time to file a reply to the state’s affidavit.

The court refused to keep the matter pending and ordered it to be dismissed.

Earlier, the Patna High Court had also, on September 1, 2020, dismissed INTACH’s plea, claiming that there was nothing on record to show that the building in question was a monument of historical value. .

“The buildings that make up the Patna Collectorate Complex are the only remnants of the Dutch and British era and serve as a reminder of Patna’s evolution in art, architecture, culture and tradition,” the INTACH application said.

The society relied on books and newspaper clippings to demonstrate the building’s ancient heritage, claiming that the collectorate was built by the Dutch in the early 18th century. After independence, this building housed government offices. INTACH claimed that these buildings can be restored with genuine and professional efforts.

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