Continue crackdown on illegal drugs, construction in Himachal: HC


the Himachal Pradesh High Court today hammered down illegal drugs and narcotics trade and illegal construction coming up at Kasol village of Kullu district directed the National Crime Bureau and State police to continue crackdown against the builder mafia which has taken of the huge chunk of state forest wealth and local ecology defying the norms in the broad daylight.

A Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Mr. Sanjay Karol and Justice Mr. Sandeep Sharma passed these orders on a petition taken up suo-moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on affidavits filed by the Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh in a separate Criminal Appeal. The High Court today directed the Deputy Commissioner, Kullu to act as a Nodal Officer and coordinate with all the relevant Departments of Kullu District for ensuring that all encroachments, so identified are removed and unauthorized structures are demolished.

The Court also ordered that no establishments at Village Kasol be allowed to operate, save and except, in accordance with law. The Court also directed the Director General of Police of Himachal as also the Zonal Director, NCB, Chandigarh, to continue with such operations and file the fresh status report within a period of four weeks. Court also noticed that as per the joint inspection report of the Committee constituted by the D.C.Kullu, out of 60 establishments(hotels) in Kasol area, 44 establishments are neither having permissions from the Tourism Department nor do they have any consent to operate in terms of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

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The Court also noticed that some of these establishments have also encroached on forest land and perhaps raised construction there upon. It directed that all such 44 establishments be shut down forthwith. The Court directed the D.C.Kullu to ensure that the water and electricity supply connections to these establishments are also disconnected forthwith and if necessary, Superintendent of Police, Kullu, shall depute police force for implementing such directions. Expressing concern court today said that drug menace is one of the serious problems in the society and it was alarmed with the sizeable increase in the charas seizures by NCB from the State as per the figures or details furnished by the NCB.

The Court had directed the Superintendent of Police Kullu as well as Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh on Oct 25 to constitute Joint Task Force to raid all Restaurants, Hotels and Dhabas in and around Kasol and Malana to stop illegal activities related to drugs. The Joint Task Force was also directed to visit Malana village and ensure complete eradication of illegal drugs and contraband and to take action against people indulging in the illegal trade of illegal drugs and contrabands. Hearing in the case is now listed for Jan 11, 2018.

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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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