Himachal High Court puts DLF Shimla project on hold

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Shimla: Taking cognizance of the controversial upcoming Bemloe colony, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on 17th October, 2011 put DLFs Shimla high profile project on hold and directed the Municipal Corporation not to issue completion certificate or permission to occupy constructed houses till a road that passes through the colony reaches its end point.

Division bench headed by Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Karol directed the Forest and Revenue secretaries, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests OCCF), Municipal Corporation, Deputy Commissioner Shimla, builder Bemloe Construction & Infrastructure Company, Chairman DLF Company, and Ministry of Environment & Forests (MOEF) to file written replies to a petition by Tikender Singh Panwar and Kuldeep Singh Tanwar challenging grant of clearance for construction in a forest area of Kanlog suburb.

File photo of construction at Kanlog forested area

The judges also directed the PCCF to clarify as to what amount was spent in construction of a road to the colony site and what was the position about clearances required from authorities for extending the road to connect it to poor villagers in the neighbourhood.

The court also sought to know why construction of road for the villagers was not being undertaken as per the same standard as the one that had already been constructed.

The court also asked MOEF to clarify whether construction of the road undertaken so far had any adverse impact on environment.

DC Shimla has been asked to specify as to how many villages in the district were still not connected by road and how the government planned to connect such villages by road.

He has also been asked to quantify the amount needed for such rural roads and place on record the condition and road access to localities.

Protests from opposition congress and CPI (M) over permitting construction in a thick forest area notwithstanding, the government has failed to act against the controversial project despite an assurance having been given in the Vidhan Sabha during the budget session.

Nearby villagers to the upcoming DLF colony have been protesting and demanding extension of a forest road that terminates at the construction site because the government funds allocated were allegedly marked for providing road access to them.

Editor-Reporter with Hill Post, Ravinder Makhaik as a journalist has for over two decades worked for India’s leading newspapers and television networks.

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