Shimla, June 2: The working of the field officials of the Electricity, State Pollution Control Board and Town and Country Planning Departments has come under the scanner with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) casting aspersions on their inefficient working where violations by hoteliers were ignored.
While the officials have now gone on an overdrive to ensure that the directions were complied by in letter and spirit, the lax approach adopted by them has left the departments embarrassed.All eyes are now set on the Chief Secretary who is supposed to initiate disciplinary proceedings against such officials.
With little check on unauthorised constructions, the Kasauli area had become synonymous with violations and builders cared two hoots for the norms. They were further emboldened by several retention policies announced by the successive governments to regularise such illegal constructions.
While welcoming the NGT orders whereby unauthorised constructions have been slapped monetary penalties ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, a section of law abiding hoteliers said this should serve as a deterrent for the wrongdoers as well as the officials who have failed to regulate such constructions.
With limited water and road network, the Kasauli area was choking with palatial concrete structures constructed in violation of the environmental norms. There was little scope to expand the roads as constructions have come up on both sides and though the TCP norms prohibited multi-storey structures above the road height, the norm was observed more in the breach.
“Kasauli must not go the Shimla way and the government must not allow indiscriminate constructions and ensure a harmonious balance between development and environment protection,” said Lt Gen Kamal Davar (retd), member of the Society for Protection of Kasauli and its Environs, which had filed the petition in the NGT.
Dumped muck is choking the seasonal nullahs and the Dharampur-Kasauli road is an illustration of this point. The condition of this road had deteriorated ever since heavy machineries were being used to clear the hills. The road alignment has been severally damaged on this road as builders have failed to maintain ideal distance from the acquired width of the road. While boundary walls have come up on the parapets of the roads, the width has significantly shrunk at a few places.
Source Tribune India