The Supreme Court has now ordered the Karnataka Government to begin the demolition operations of illegal restaurants, hotels and guest houses built near the Tungabhadra river on the west of the Hampi World Heritage site.
Supreme court’s order to Karnataka
The top court noticed a serious threat to historical monuments of the Vijayanagara empire since the Unesco meeting in 2009 had indicated widespread illegal constructions near the place.
A bench of Justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and R Subhash Reddy stated that since Virupapura Gaddi- an oval islet shaped by the Tungabhadra river on the west of the Hampi World Heritage site- had been declared as preserved area by a notification issued on October 22, 1988, the land could not have been used other than for the cultivation objective.
However, many had built sheds and buildings on these properties for the business purpose of operating hotels, restaurants, and guest houses.
Violating the laws
The supreme court had further rejected the petitions filed by Sakkubai and others against the Karnataka HC’s judgment of April 27, 2015, which held that the area fell under the ‘focus zone’ of the heritage area and allowed the authorities to destroy illegal structures.
“Indeed, these constructions were violating Section 20(1) of the Mysore Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remain Act, 1961,” the court said.
The top court regarded as “official”, said that the authorities cannot turn a blind eye to the illegality being performed by those breaking the law.
“Virupapura Gaddi is a river island, it is obvious that no development is permitted there even as per the Master Plan 2021 prepared under the Hampi Act,” the court said.