Illegal construction in Shimla’s core area

After MC’s clean chit, residents to move High Court over alleged illegal construction in Shimla’s core area

The matter was brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur, the Division Forest Officer, and Principal Chief Conservator. 

Shimla: Based on the allegations and complaints made by the residents of the Fingask locality in the core area of the Shimla city, Himachal Watcher had published a story on November 21, 2017 over the alleged illegal construction.

Along with the conversation with the affected residents, HW had described the situation with clear pictures. The residents had termed it a naked dance of corruption in nexus with the local administration.

Himachal Watcher had earlier talked to the Deputy Mayor Rakesh Kumar Sharma as the Mayor Kusum Sadret and MC Commissioner G.C. Negi were not responding to our calls. The Dy. Mayor said he was attending a training at the HIPA and told us to make a call to the MC Office. 

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The matter was brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur, the Division Forest Officer, and Principal Chief Conservator. 

However, it appears that either these officials do not check the e-mail addresses provided to the public or they simply ignore them. None of them bothered to reply to our official mail. Most likely, they would try to ignore attending to the grievance until a PIL isn’t filed in the court regarding this attitude of the public servants. 

On November 28, HW again tried to contact the Commissioner. However, there was no response to our calls.

We talked to the Joint Commissioner, Prashant Sirkek, who admitted receiving complaints regarding the said construction site but denied having any factual knowledge about it. He told us to contact the Architect Planner, D.K. Nag.

HW tried to reach the AP but could not contact him as his phone was switched off.

Finally, the Mayor picked up the phone. She confirmed that the ongoing construction is 100 percent legal and the owner has obtained all mandatory permissions from the Corporation. The Commissioner also agreed with her.

The construction is totally legal. The owner is following all rules and has obtained permissions for the same lawfully. However, we will ask officials to visit the site again to see if there are any violations of the rules,

the Mayor told HW.

The residents are now gearing up to reach the State High Court with a plea to  intervene and order an inquiry into the matter.

The residents had alleged that the owner of the land is a habitual offender with a history of illegal construction and encroachment on government land. He is already facing charges of illegal construction in the same locality. Despite that, said the residents, the man was able to obtain permission for construction from the Shimla Municipal Corporation.

Against the previously permitted angle of 45 Degrees, the construction site has a slope of over 80 Degrees, said the residents. About five trees are in danger along with a high risk of landslide due to ongoing excavation work. 

The residents had also alleged illegal dumping of the excavation waste. 

Further, the residents are terming it as an violation of the recent judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding the construction activity and rules in the State. 

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