Lucknow: Cocking a snook at the Supreme Court orders, more than 30,000 illegally constructed religious structures stand tall in Uttar Pradesh. Fearing a possible backlash from the concerned section of the society, the state administration is unwilling to either shift or demolish the illegal religious structures.

On September 29, 2009 the Supreme Court had passed orders to identify the illegal religious structures constructed on public lands in the country. As per the Apex Court orders, the illegal religious constructions were either to be demolished or shifted. In UP alone, the state authorities prepared a list of 45,152 illegal religious constructions.

Following the identification process, the former Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta had constituted two separate committees headed by Commissioner and DM to remove the illegal sites. DMs were entrusted with the task of removing the illegal sites in the respective districts. However, the drive failed to kick-start in any of the districts.

In his letters to all Commissioners, DM, Range Inspector General (IG) and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and Superintendent of Police (SP), the Chief Secretary had reiterated the orders on April 3, 2010. 150 religious structures were shifted to other locations. The committees decided not to remove about 15,000 religious structures on the basis of police report.

However, the government is yet to arrive on any conclusion for the remaining 30,000 illegal religious constructions.
When asked about the implementation of SC orders, DMs expressed their inability to comply with the orders as it could create a law and order problem.

JPN/Bureau