The historic Rajghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, is being properly maintained despite the normal wear and tear due to daily visits by thousands of people, Delhi High Court was told today.
The Rajghat Samadhi Committee, entrusted with maintaining the memorial, submitted before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that Central Public Works Department (CPWD) was responsible for its upkeep and it has rectified all deficiencies at the site.
The committee’s submission was made in an affidavit in response to allegations in a PIL that the monument was not being properly maintained.
The committee has sought dismissal of the plea contending it was an “abuse of process of court” as the petitioner, Shyam Narayan Chouksey, had an alternative remedy of raising the issue.
It also contended that the petition was “infructuous” now as the alleged deficiencies in the upkeep of the monument have already been rectified by CPWD. The ‘samadhi’ and its premises were “proper and well maintained”, it said.
It further said that procedure was in place for maintenance of the monument and therefore the plea for day-to-day superintendence by the court of the upkeep the site was “neither possible, nor permissible under the law”.
The petitioner has alleged that the Gandhi Samadhi “was not at all being properly and cleanly maintained” and despite bringing it to the committee’s attention, there was no change in the situation. He also sought directions to the Rajghat Samadhi Committee “to carry out repair and maintenance work”.
The petitioner alleged that there were betel stains at the entrance to the memorial, floor tiles were broken, rubbish was found lying around, white marble had gone black due to lack of cleaning and the green carpet laid for visitors to walk was damaged.
All the allegations have been refuted by the panel in its affidavit.