TODAY -

Govt writes to Sana Konung Semgat Lup
Acquisition of private land can be made for public purposes

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 03 2013 : Notwithstanding the public outcry over the move to take over Sana Konung (Royal Palace), Government of Manipur has written to Sana Konung Semgat Lup expressing its keenness for early settlement of the matter so that the restoration of the palace to its past grandeur can take place at the earliest through a competent authority.

In a letter signed by Deputy Secretary of Arts and Culture Kimjalhai Kipgen, which was received by the Sana Konung in the morning of August 1, the Government of Manipur placed its position on acquisition of the Palace and other related issues and said that any comments on the same may be conveyed, so that it can be considered.

The letter addressed to the President of Sana Konung Semgat Lup, Palace Compound, Imphal, stated, "Recently, the State Cabinet had decided to acquire about 13 acres of land including the Palace for its renovation and development.

There has been objection to this decision from various quarters, and various allegations which are not borne by facts were made.



Govt writes to Sana Konung Semgat Lup
Govt writes to Sana Konung Semgat Lup


It may be recalled that, a process for acquisition of land for the same purpose was initiated in 2004, but after discussion with the Sana Konung Semgat Lup, an MoU was entered in between the State Government and the Lup on 26.2.2006, wherein it was agreed that, the process will be suspended until a final agreement was reached between the parties.

There has been no further understanding, and no further steps seem to have been taken from both sides.

The current decision was the latest in this regard.

Without entering into the various issues raised from different quarters, which the Government feels is not relevant and is not borne by facts, it may be informed that, the Palace which was inaugurated in 1908 is in a dilapidated condition and many portion of the building is in a very poor condition.

This is due to the facts that, repairing works have not been taken up for many years.

The strength of the building needs to be assessed, and strengthening work is to be carried out so that it can last for another century.

It may be reiterated that, the palace was constructed by the British after their takeover of the Kangla, and was the seat of powers of the then Maharaja.

Hence, it is the responsibility of the present generation to ensure that it is maintained properly in its original grandeur, so that the future generations will know the glorious heritage of the State.

It may be appreciated that, public fund cannot be utilised for development or restoration of private buildings, and therefore, the need for acquisition of the land and the structure arose.

The only objective of the State is to restore the Palace and its surrounding to its pristine glory, with reconstruction of the temples for the four indispensable deities, namely, Baikunthanath, Pakhangba, Nongshaba and Yumjai Lairembi at their original sites, besides renovating the Palace and the Darbar Hall, and keeping the area under proper care with the original layout of the garden, etc.

The importance of the titular king in various social and religious events is recognised and will continue to do so, and therefore, the titular king will be accommodated in a structure of sufficient standard within the acquired area, with proper Sanggoi with sufficient rooms to accommodate the various Loishangs on lease for a period of 20/50 years renewable after the period on nominal rent.

The titular king will be provided easy access to the Palace after its restoration on occasions where his presence is necessitated, and for this, the lists of festivals may be indicated.

It may be appreciated that, once a place has been declared as private property, it is subjected to inheritance laws.

It may be recalled that, in Maharaj Tokendrabir Singh versus Secretary to the Government of India and others, the Supreme Court had ordered that, the partial permission granted under Section 87 B CPC for filing a petition against the Maharaja Okendrajit Singh for partitioning the private property indicated in the Inventory List was not proper, and permission was granted for all the private properties.

Further, the area to be acquired is a total of about 13.81 acres, of which the area where the Palace stands is only a small proportion, and the rest belongs to various individuals who had bought the land and developed it themselves.

It may be mentioned that, under the Land Acquisition Act, acquisition of private land can be made for public purpose, and even within Palace Compound, lands have been acquired such as for Open Air Theatre, All India Radio, Surana Motors, Hapta Kangjeibung, Family Line of Telecom & Post Office, etc, in the past.

The position of the State Government on the matter is place above, and the State Government desires that any comments on the matter may be conveyed, so that it can be considered by the State Government.

Normally, for acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition Act, there is no discussion with the affected parties but this was taken up in view of the MoU referred above.

The State Government is keen that the matter is settled early, so that restoration of the Palace takes place at the earliest through a competent agency and is restored to its past grandeur" .


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