Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, March 5
An illegal building raised at the entrance of McLeodganj on forestland was being demolished on the Supreme Court orders. Due to the demolition process, the district administration has blocked the main road to McLeodganj for traffic.
The tardy pace at which the demolition process is going on has the tourism industry of the area worried.
Mukesh Kumar, a hotelier of McLeodganj, said the tourism season in the region was going to start from April. However, the demolition process had been going on at a tardy pace, he said, adding that if the process remained the same, the main road to McLeodganj would remain blocked for months. This would destroy tourism work in the area, he said.
Kangra Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Prajapati, “The contractor, who had raised the building, was given time till February 27 to demolish it as per the court orders. However, he could not do so within the stipulated time. Now, the work has been handed over to the Conservator Forests, Dharamsala. The Conservator has floated a tender for the demolition work. The work will be allotted soon with the condition that it should be completed at the earliest.”
The president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of upper Dharamsala, Ashwani Bamba, said hoteliers in the region were suffering losses incurred last year due to Covid. This year, they were looking forward to a summer season that extends from April to June. “However, the blockage of the main road is likely to complicate traffic problems in the region. The district administration should hire services of a professional company for the demolition,” he said.
The Supreme Court, in an order issued on January 12, upheld the NGT order issued in 2016 and ordered demolition of the hotel and the restaurant constructed on forestland at the entrance of McLeodganj by a private entrepreneur on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis for the Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority.
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