Mandi, July 24
The residents of Lahaul valley are opposing the imposition of Town and Country Planning Act in the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti. The state government had issued a notification last month to implement the TCP Act from the Atal Tunnel up to Tandi in Lahaul and Spiti. This notification brought seven panchayats of Lahaul and Spiti under the TCP Act.
Ex-minister offers support
- Former minister Ram Lal Markandey has also threatened to sit on a hunger strike if the state government does not withdraw the notification.
- He appealed to the residents of Lahaul valley to show solidarity on this issue to mount pressure for the withdrawal of this notification.
- The TCP Act will be implemented from Atal Tunnel up to Tandi.
The residents of Lahaul valley have been sitting on a chain hunger strike at Sissu for the last eight days to pressurise the state government to withdraw the notification. The protest was joined by social activist Rigzin Samphel Heyreppa, chairperson of Zila Parishad, Lahaul and Spiti, Anuradha Rana, former minister and BJP leader Ram Lal Markandey and other prominent people of the valley.
Sachin Mirupa, pradhan, Gram Panchayat, Koksar, said that the state government had issued a notification regarding implementation of the TCP Act from Atal Tunnel to Tandi on June 28, which impacted seven panchayats of Lahaul and Spiti. These panchayats are Koksar, Sissu, Khangsar, Gondhala, Mooling, Tandi and Goshal.
“According to the notification, the existing land use of the Atal Tunnel Planning Area has freezed following the notification for the next five years. Now no construction activities can be carried out under the planning area,” he said. He questioned what kind of development the government was planning in this tribal district. “We do not want the imposition of the TCP Act in Lahaul and Spiti,” said Sachin.
Rigzin Samphel Heyrappa said, “It is a complete violation of PESA (Panchayats Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, which exists in Lahaul and Spiti. It is not a wise on the part of the state government to impose the TCP Act in Lahaul and Spiti without taking the area residents into confidence. We oppose the decision and urge the state government it withdraw the notification.”
Supporting the protesters, former minister Ram Lal Markandey also threatened to sit on a hunger strike if the state government does not withdraw the notification. He appealed to the residents of Lahaul valley to show solidarity on this issue to mount pressure on the government to withdraw the notification.
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