Delhi’s Appu Ghar may have second life

February 19th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Appu Ghar, the capital’s popular amusement park for children that closed down Sunday after more than two decades, may have a second life as the Supreme Court Tuesday asked the government if it could allocate a new site for it at market prices. Appu Ghar, adjoining the exposition grounds of the Pragati Maidan near the Supreme Court in the heart of Delhi, was closed down to make way for the construction of an administrative block of the apex court.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Land and Development Office to file their affidavit by March 27 detailing if they were ready to allocate an alternative site to International Amusement Limited (IAL), which runs Appu Ghar.

Earlier, the firm’s counsel and former law minister Arun Jaitley pleaded to the court that the firm, while running the children amusement park for last 25 years, had made huge investments in it.

Jaitley contended that his client has a plethora of documents to show that it was a permanent allottee of the land by the International Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), a government agency that manages the Pragati Maidan.

IAL, however, is ready to shift the park from its current premises in the Pragati Maidan to serve the larger public interest, pleaded Jaitley.

He told the court that the DDA, Delhi’s land management agency, had earlier indicated it was not averse to allocating an alternative site for the park at market rates.

On Nov 30, the bench had ordered the urban development ministry to hand over the possession of nearly 15 acres of the Appu Ghar land to apex court authorities and of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) after evicting IAL.

The ministry had allocated the land to the apex court for expansion of its premises and to have a separate administrative block and a record room for the court.

A part of the land, measuring 6,202 square metres, is set to go to the DMRC to build Metro railway tracks and stations.

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