HC asks Himachal government to map construction around Manali


By: ML Verma

Shimla (Dec 27): Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday asked the state government to map construction activity in the fragile ecology around Manali up to the mighty Rohtang Pass.

Hearing a public interest litigation, a division bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol said in a ruling that the state chief secretary should convene a meeting to check illegal constructions around Manali.

The bench directed the principal secretary (Town and Country Planning) to ensure that the entire stretch from Aut to Beas Kund should be videographed so that there is hard evidence available regarding construction actually existing in the area on the date.

The court asked secretary (TCP) to file an affidavit to indicate how any person could know whether he is constructing a building in accordance with this condition. “To ensure compliance of this condition, we direct that the state should clearly mark the highest flood level of river Beas and the 25 meters area where no
construction is allowed in a clear-cut manner. This shall be done positively before the next date,” the court said.

The court also asked the government to clarified the fact that a power project coming out within the planning area had been given permission by the TCP. The court fixed next date of hearing on March 30, 2012.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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