SC orders status quo on demolition of iconic Collectorate Building

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered status quo on the proposed demolition of the iconic Collectorate Building/Afim Ka Bhandar in Patna city. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notice notice on a plea, which cited the historical significance, and its Dutch connection.

The petitioner, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage Patna chapter, moved the Supreme Court after the Patna High Court gave the green signal to the Municipal Corporation for proceeding with its demolition.

The High Court had observed that the structure, which the state government had planned to demolish to make way for a new building, had no aesthetic, historical, or cultural significance.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing after two weeks.

Today, the petitioner’s counsel argued before the apex court regarding the historical significance of the building which was built in 1800, and it was used for storage of opium for commercial purposes. The counsel argued that many Dutch-origin people have already written to the government against the demolition.

The Bihar Government in 2019 had announced it will demolish the building in order to free up space for a new government complex. This decision was criticised and there were campaigns against the demolition of the structure.

The Collectorate building was built by the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century. The building was used as a godown for opium. Later, the British used it for administrative purposes.