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Illegal constructions on Shimla-Kalka NH: Senior HP IAS officers in trouble

By IndianMandarins- 22 Mar 2019
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A number of senior IAS and other officers of Himachal Pradesh who have been associated with the Town and Country Planning Department might get hauled up for all the illegal constructions along the Shimla-Kalka national highway in the last 10 years, following the High Court rejecting the status report filed by the state government, saying junior officers alone could not be held responsible.

 

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sandeep Sharma, has directed the Chief Secretary to provide the list of such TCP officers right from the Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Special Secretary, Under Secretary and those responsible for spot inspection in the Urban Development Department and in areas under the Special Area Development Authorities (SADA).

 

Taking note of illegal constructions along the Shimla-Kalka national highway, the High Court rejected the status report filed by the state government, saying junior officers alone could not be held responsible.

 

The court today directed the state government to provide a list of names of all officers in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, in whose tenure (during the last 10 years) illegal constructions had come up along the Shimla-Kalka national highway.

The court fixed the next date of hearing on May 6, while clearly stating that a Junior Engineer alone could not be held responsible for illegal constructions as senior officers could have taken steps to prevent it. The court rejected the status report filed in this regard, seeking names of all senior officers.

 

The court also directed the Shimla Municipal Corporation, Shoghi, Kandaghat, Solan, Barog and Kasauli Planning Area to provide a list of the illegal, unauthorized and unapproved constructions within their jurisdiction. It also sought a time-frame from these local bodies that they would take to remove all illegal constructions without compounding an inch.

 

The court also sought a list of names of officers, who would be responsible for removing illegal constructions so that they could be held accountable.

 

The court also took a stern view of the missing record of the Solan MC. While asking the MC to get the record prepared again, it warned that show-cause notices would be issued to Executive Officers and presidents, during whose tenure the record went missing.

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