Exploring ways to 'restore' use of Ramlila Maidan as community ground: North Delhi Mayor

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) The direction by the National Green Tribunal, to disallow use of any park in Delhi for commercial or social functions, has put the North Corporation in a fix and no bookings are being done for the Ramlila Maidan as authorities are unable to decide if the sprawling ground also comes under its ambit.

Bookings for the Ramlila Maidan, located near the New Delhi railway station, for any public activity has also been put on hold since the NGT directions.

Early February, the NGT had directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to ensure that no park is used for holding any social, cultural, commercial and marriage or other functions in the national capital.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel referred to the Delhi High Court orders prohibiting the use of parks and said the DDA and civic bodies will be held accountable for the violation.

'Yes, Ramlila Maidan is not being used for any community events since the NGT order. There is a lack of clarity, as to whether it comes under the ambit of the NGT directions for not. Our CLO (chief legal officer) is looking into it, to sort it out,' North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash said.

He said ways are being explored to 'restore use of the Ramlila Maidan as a community ground'.

The Ramlila Maidan is a historic venue and a witness to landmark political rallies over the decades, besides the annual Dussehra celebrations.

In the 1970s, socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan made his historic speeches to massive gatherings at this venue.

First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressed crowds from its dais and in recent times, AAP government members have taken oaths at this very iconic ground.

The green panel had said that in view of the high court order and the directions of DPCC, no park can be used for social, cultural, commercial, marriage or other functions and the Executive Engineer (Horticulture) of DDA and the MCD will be accountable for the violations.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Budhela Welfare Association against illegal and unregulated use of parks for commercial purposes in Delhi.

The matter was taken up in the light of the allegation of illegal use of the Dussehra Ground Park in Ward No. 20, Vikas Puri, Delhi for commercial purposes. PTI KND RDM RDM