Lucknow: In order to place a check on the prevailing trend of building temples and mosques at public places (public land and along roads), the state government has banned such activities. Also, any commercial activity at the religious sites already constructed at public places has also been prohibited.

The Supreme Court has asked information regarding actions carried out against illegal construction of religious structures on public land before September 2009.  In compliance with the court order, the Home Secretary Deepak Kumar has sent a letter to all District Magistrates of the state to submit a report in this regard before September 28.

It is to be noted, the state government on instructions of the Centre, had made a policy according to which a committee headed by the District Magistrate was to be formed in each district. The committee had to take action against illegal religious constructions; keeping in mind the public sentiments, local situation, law and order and goodwill of the people. It was decided in the order to either remove these religious structures individually or shift them to an alternative location.

An another order was issued by the Centre to the District Magistrates on May 31 to ensure necessary action against such unauthorized constructions on the basis of its merits and demerits.

According to the sources, the committees made in various districts did not take any concrete steps in this regard and many more illegal constructions took place even after the order.

Moreover, many of the District Magistrates made it clear in an affidavit to the Chief Secretary that it is not possible to remove such religious venues citing several excuses.

(JPN/Bureau)