Tripura: Neermahal, Rudrasagar to return back to royal dynasty
AGARTALA: After a long legal battle, the Neermahal and Rudrasagar Lake, second water palace in Eastern India would again return to real
owner – Maharani Bibhu Kumari Devi.
The Tripura government was asked to hand over the Neermahal standing in the midst of Rudrasagar to Bibhu Devi by next two months,added to
it, the government would have to pay Rs. 25 lakh with 6% interest annually as compensation since 1974 when the said palace was handed
over by erstwhile king of Tripura – Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya.
He handed over the properties to the government to maintain it as tourist spot. Before death, Kirit Bikram gave the ownership of these properties to
Bibhu Devi in his Will. As per the Will, Bibhu Devi served a notice to the government to hand over the Neermahal and Rudrasagar as they
failed to take proper care of these properties. As the government claimed these as their own properties and did not pay any heed to the notice, Bibhu Devi filed a case in Civil Court in 2008.
According to her petition, she claimed the ownership of the Neermahal and Rudrasagar as the government failed to care properly to promote
the Water Palace as tourist spot.Debu Ranjan Chowdhury who moved the case in favour of Bibhu Devi said that after a prolonged trial, the court found that Bibhu Devi is the real owner of these properties.
However, the government lawyers – Debabrata Chakraborty and Mrinal Kanti Biswas said that these properties are presently not owned by
Maharani, according to 1949 Merger Act. They also said that the the state government had adopted a master plan to provide seismic retrofitting to prevent it from possible earthquake damage. According to the master plan, maintenance of nearly 11 meter water level in the Rudrasagar Lake during summer and winter including construction of a ring road, watchtowers, small cottages with open air-theatre and others.
Tripura king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya built the Neermahal in 1930 as his summer resort and later, it turned into a tourist hotspot. The Neermahal consists of total 24 rooms apart from 'andarmahal' with mixed Hindu and Muslim architechture.