Unplanned construction rampant in Palampur, authorities fail to act : The Tribune India

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Unplanned construction rampant in Palampur, authorities fail to act

Unplanned construction rampant in Palampur, authorities fail to act

An aerial view of a congested residential area in Palampur.



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, April 2

Despite stringent laws in place to take action against the violators of building bylaws, illegal construction continues unabated in Palampur. The haphazard and unplanned construction of buildings in the town betrays the lackadaisical approach of the civic body and the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department.

MC official blames HPSEBL, IPH Dept

  • A senior official of the Palampur Municipal Corporation admitted that there were violations in the construction of buildings in the town
  • He said Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) and the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department were responsible for the rampant violations as they had given power and water connections to defaulters in gross violation of laws

Unplanned construction also poses a serious challenge to firefighting, health and disaster management agencies during natural calamities. In the past five years, the town has virtually turned into a slum and several roads have been squeezed due to unplanned buildings.

Though many proposals were made to decongest the town by establishing satellite towns, all these remained confined to official files. In letters addressed to the DC and civic authorities, the state government had recently directed lawful action against the violators of building laws, failing which the government would initiate action against the civic bodies and not hesitate to appoint administrators to ensure the execution of laws. However, illegal construction still continues unabated in Palampur.

The previous Congress government, led by then CM Virbadhra Singh, had also directed the TCP and municipal councils and DC to ensure action against violators.

“We will not allow any jungle raj (lawlessness) on the pretext of development by influential persons. The civic bodies should act in a time-bound manner and in accordance with the law to check unplanned construction in their respective areas,” the late CM had said. Now, there is again a Congress-led regime in the hill state but any comprehensive action against violators in Palampur has not taken place.

Talking to The Tribune, a senior official of the Palampur Municipal Corporation admitted that there were violations in the construction of buildings in the town. He said the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) and the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department were responsible for the rampant violations as they had given power and water connections to defaulters in gross violation of laws.

He added that despite writing letters and quoting stringent provisions of Section 83 of the TCP Act, the HPSEBL and IPH had liberally allowed water and power supply connections to defaulters. The MC would take action against the violators and not allow illegal construction in the town, the official added.

#Palampur


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