Illegal Constructions Go On In McLeodganj Heritage Zone

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Shimla April, 17; With the government remaining indecisive on the regularisation policy, illegal constructions are continuing in McLeodganj, the tourist hub of Kangra district. High-rising buildings ranging up to seven storeys have come up in McLeodganj heritage zone despite the fact that the maximum number of storeys allowed in seismic zone of Dharamsala was just four storeys. The authorities have once again limited themselves to just giving notices to influential owners of these high-rising buildings.

Sources here said a large number of people have applied for the regularisation of their illegal buildings with the Town and Country Planning Department. However, since the matter was pending before the court, the authorities are not taking any action over regularisation of building as per the new policy of government that allows hundred per cent deviations from the original approved maps.Since the state government has passed the bill for the regularisation of all the illegal structures in the state, there has been a glut of illegal constructions in McLeodganj the tourist hub of the state.

Mcleodganj
Image Source

The worst casualty has been the heritage zone of the town that is famous as abode the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. The sources here said that the old heritage zone of McLeodganj included the area extending from main crossing of McLeodganj to Dalai Lama temple road. The area was kept under heritage zone so as to protect old buildings intact in the world famous hill station.

However, since the present government announced its regularisation policy almost all the old buildings have been demolished and multi-storey buildings have come up in their place. All residents of the area have demolished the old building with an idea that their new buildings will be regularised in the policy announced by the government.

The violations have been more blatant in Dharamsala town as it is represented by Minister for Urban Development Sudhir Sharma.The people carrying out illegal constructions in the heritage zone are alleging that the legislation of protecting the heritage zone of McLeodganj was impractical and useless. They alleged that already about 98 per cent heritage of McLeodganj has been lost. There are just one or two buildings in heritage zone of McLeodganj that can be classified as heritage buildings. Rest all heritage buildings in McLeodganj have already been modified or reconstructed. So there was no point in keeping the legislation of banning construction in heritage zone of McLeodganj, they said.

Besides McLeodganj blatant illegal constructions are also being brought in HIMUDA colony in Khaniara. As per the construction rules in Himachal Pradesh more than one storey cannot be constructed about the ground level on lower hide of the hills. The rule was enforced so that the valley view from roads is not blocked. However, in HIMUDA colony in Khaniara most of the residents are now busy constructing multi-storey buildings much above the ground level from the road.

The worst casualty 

  • Since the matter is pending before the court, the authorities are not taking any action over regularisation
  • There has been a glut of illegal constructions in McLeodganj, the tourist hub of the state.
  • The worst casualty has been the heritage zone of the town that is famous as the abode of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile.
  • The area was kept under the heritage zone so as to protect old buildings intact in the world-famous hill station.

News Source : Tribune India

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