No cutting of hills without govt approval, rules Himachal High Court : The Tribune India

No cutting of hills without govt approval, rules Himachal High Court

No cutting of hills without govt approval, rules Himachal High Court


Legal Correspondent

Shimla, January 24

Taking a tough stand on the issue of haphazard construction in hilly areas, the HP High Court has ordered that there will be no cutting of hills across the state, unless permission is obtained from the Director, Town & Country Planning (TCP). No such permission should be granted without obtaining a report and “no objection certificate” from the Pollution Control Board, it further added.

The court passed this order on a PIL filed by Kusum Bali highlighting indiscriminate and haphazard construction in hilly areas.

The court directed the state to frame a policy for the conservation, preservation and cutting of hills, in consultation with the Department of Environment, Science and Technology and the Pollution Control Board.

The court further directed the Director, TCP, to take steps to prepare and publish draft regional plans for all districts after carrying out necessary surveys and preparing land-use maps. It said the regional plans would also provide for “no development zones”.

In respect of the areas already notified as planning areas or special areas, but where no development plans are in place, the Director would prepare and publish appropriate interim development plan/development plan after following due process.

In the first instance, the exercise would be carried out for at least three districts having high potential of development and it would be completed in six months. The exercise would be completed within 1 year in the remaining districts, the court added.

The court said, “We hope and trust that the authorities of the state government will comply with this order in letter and spirit so as to save this beautiful state from further haphazard and indiscriminate constructions/development activities, particularly by cutting hills, which is causing immeasurable harm to the environment and which is in violation of the principles of sustainable development.”

Another precondition

The Director, Town & Country Planning (TCP), will give no such permission without obtaining a report and "no objection certificate" from the Pollution Control Board

#Shimla

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