Shimla: Heated exchanges were witnessed between chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and congress lawmaker Mukesh Agnihotri in the Vidhan Sabha today over granting permission of for construction of high end cottages to Bamloe builders in the city.
Soon after question hour, Agnihotri attempted to imitate a discussion about alleged violations of forest act for the purpose of construction of a road through thick forested area by the colonizer but was restrained by speaker Tulsi Ram.
The speaker ruled that no notice for a discussion on the issue had been given by the member and refused to take Agnihotri’s protests on record.
However, chief minister took the floor and said that the government was prepared to face a house inquiry or by any other agency in the matter. He maintained that no violations had been made by the private builder.
Citing an agitation by CPI(M) members, Dhumal said that a joint inspection of the spot was done by Principal Chief Conservator Forests with Rakesh Singha, Kuldeep Tanwar and Tikender Panwar.
No tree was found damaged or uprooted on the road to the project site, he said. Of the 36 trees mentioned in the project report 35 were found standing and one had fallen, for which a damage report has been prepared, he added.
The opposition was spreading canards over the issue and the government had nothing to hide in the matter, said the chief minister.
Earlier, Mohinder Singh, minister of urban development said that the builder had obtained all permissions as per law and legally it was not possible to stop the concern from working on the site.
“Work was stopped for sometime and after it was verified that all permissions had been lawfully obtained, one could not withhold work the project,” said Mohinder Singh.
Congress leader attempted to draw the chief ministers attention over granting permission for luxurious cottages whereas the city was living with water shortages and traffic congestion.
Speaker Tulsi Ram overruled him and asked the house for taking up the listed business for the day.
It may be recalled that granting permission for constructed a gated colony in a thickly forested area of the city had led to sharp exchanges during the budget session.