Apex Court prohibits fresh shrines, statues on public roads

In order to curb the menace of encroachment and strengthen the hands of civic bodies the Supreme Court has ordered ban on fresh encroachment of roads, pavements and sideways by construction of religious structures or installation of statues of public figures. The court took seriously the common hazard in all Indian cities and towns where illegal religious structures – often thinly disguised cases of land grab – have burgeoned on public and private land and are hindering roads and inconveniencing residents.

Why this order?

  • The court responded to the application by K R Pradeep Kumar of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala challenging government’s permission to a private society to install the statue of public figure on a traffic island on a national highway from Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari at Neyyatinkara. The applicant said that such installations were obstructing the movement of traffic and were causing public inconvenience.

How would it help?

  • With this ruling, municipal and government bodies will be empowered to prohibit unauthorized constructions being carried out under the garb of religious structures as often local political interests and religious sentiments make authorities helpless.
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