Shimla: Communist Party of India Marxists has demanded a judicial enquiry by a retired or sitting High Court Judge into construction of villas in a densely forested area after allegedly having violated Forest Conservation Act and revenue laws.
Talking to reporters, Tikender Panwar, CPIM state secretariat member said, a preliminary survey by a committee of forester have established that an old forest road leading to the construction site of Bamloe builders has been thoroughly damaged and trees have been illegally cut.
The foresters only inspected the site, which during Raj days used to be a beer factory, and where construction today is taking place after CPI (M) agitated the matter. Under the pretext of repairing the old road not only forged signatures of beneficiaries, some of whom have died many years ago, were used but dozens of trees were mowed down by changing the alignment through the densely forest area, says Panwar.
Besides the illegally felled green trees another 34 high value deodar trees have been enumerated and would have to be felled sometime later because of construction activity on the road, he said.
Pointing out other omissions, Kuldeep Tanwar, CPI (M) state secretariat member revealed that after scrutiny of revenue papers and no objection certificates (NOCs) obtained for securing permissions to construct the villas, it has come to light that NOCs were given on the day the applications were made to the Municipal Commissioner in 22 April, 2009 and by the forest department on 21st May, 2009, without doing any spot inspection.
Moreover papers show that these NOCs were given to Bamloe builders even though they were not actual owners of the site till October, 2009, which is a gross violation of section 118 of HP Tenancy & Land Reforms Act, said Tanwar.
While many landowners have been awaiting construction permission on plots bought many years ago but a high profile builder was able to secure it without the matter being brought for discussion in the municipal house, the duo say.
Alleging that the law was being perverted by the rich and powerful, the CPI(M) leaders have demanded a judicial probe into the matters saying, â€œotherwise the party would be forced to agitate the matter through a public interest litigation in the courts.â€