PIL seeks shifting of Panchkula consumer forum from heritage building- HC issues notice

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Not many of the people of Panchkula even know that they live near a historical site. It is a nearly 160 years old Nahan Kothi, in Sector 12.

Declared protected site in 2007, this ancient building Nahan Kothi has been caught in bureaucratic tangle and has not been vacated.

Nahan Kothi- a state protected monument is in depleted state

Nahan Kothi- a state protected monument is in depleted state

Built around 1860, by Prince Surjan Singh and Bir Singh- the sons of Sirmour’s king Fateh Singh, this kothi served as rest house when the princes used to come here for hunting. Presently, it houses the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum and a social welfare department.

In 2007, the government announced that the building would be taken over by Haryana Archeology and Museum Department, who intended to open a museum here. However, it did not happen and despite completion of paper formalities, the possession of the building was not handed over to Haryana Archeology and Museum Department.

About 8 years ago, on demand raised by advocates, it was decided that the top floor of the court complex, which was constructed during that time. However, even after that the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum was not shifted in court complex and is running from the building, which has three big halls, 10 rooms and stores, is not being maintained for past about a decade and is in depleted condition. .

Advocate H C Arora, known for taking up matters in public interest before Punjab and Haryana High Court as PIL, has now raised the issue before high court, seeking eviction of District Consumer Forum from heritage building of Nahan Kothi, Panchkula.

High Court1

H C Arora, in his petition stated that Nahan Kothi was a state protected monument of Haryana. The government and district collector have the duty to protect and preserve this building and not to permit any encroachment on any part of this building. However, for the last few years, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Panchkula is functioning from this building, which is in a state of dilapidation.

The staff of Consumer Forum was also under constant danger and there be loss of life and property if any portion of this building falls. The petitioner has stated that it was the Department of Consumer Affairs, which was responsible for permitting the Consumer Forum from operating from this heritage building in an illegal manner.

After hearing the arguments, the high court bench has issued notice to Haryana Government, its Additional Chief Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department and Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula for July 25.

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