Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday appealed to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena to halt the proposed demolition of 74 religious structures for infrastructure development projects in the capital, saying it could hurt sentiments and lead to a serious public order situation.
“Lakhs devotees visit these religious structures and their demolition may lead to a public order situation in the capital,” Sisodia said in a statement.
Mr Sisodia’s appeal came after Delhi police released reports recommending that the religious buildings should not be demolished.
The proposed infrastructure projects include the construction of viaducts, roads and housing projects by the national government.
“The reports from the Delhi police state that the demolition of religious structures will lead to mass protests and law and order in the capital that could escalate into riots,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said these structures can be protected by making changes to the project designs.
“In the era of modern architecture and technology, it is possible to adapt designs to the demands of the environment, and the same can be done in this case to save the temples, mazars and gurudwaras,” he said.
Development is essential, but should not harm people’s religious feelings, said Manish Sisodia.
Earlier this month, officials had said Mr Saxena has recalled files related to several pending infrastructure projects, citing “inaction” on the part of the Delhi government.
They claimed that despite a committee’s recommendations to remove the “unauthorized religious structures” that have held back several major infrastructure projects, the Delhi government’s Ministry of Home Affairs, headed by Sisodia, has since May last year 78 of has been considering such proposals from various agencies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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