Himachal cabinet approves draft for regularizing illegal buildings

Shimla: With municipal elections due in a month, the Himachal cabinet today gave its nod for a draft retention policy under with building that have come up in violations of the construction plans are intended to be regularized.

Presided over by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal the cabinet approved the new draft retention policy by allowing amendments in the HP Town and Country Planning Rules, 1978.

Giving details chief secretary Harinder Hira said “it was decided to issue draft notification for inviting public comments and any objections and suggestions received would be considered by the cabinet later.”

Sources in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department disclosed that there were over 6000 unauthorized buildings in state that needed to be reqularized

The cabinet in principal also accepted a TCP department proposal for development plan of Shimla planning area about exploring possibilities of Municipal Corporation acquiring vacant plots in the greenbelt area.

The chief secretary said that under Supreme Court rulings one could not deny private property owners the right to construct on land declared as green belts. Option of acquiring such properties had to be explored to adhere to the planned green area.

For not adhering to provisions of a memorandum of understanding signed with a independent power producer, the cabinet cancelled allotment of two hydropower projects in Chamba district by terminating the agreements.

Hydropower projects in advanced stages of implementation were permitted time limit extensions but were levied a fee of Rs 10,000 per month for delays in achieving the milestones laid out.

Time limits for preparing detailed project reports of hydro projects to come up in Dodra-Kwar region of Shimla district, Lahaul and Spiti District and Pangi area of district Chamba have been extended to 36 months by the cabinet.

This was done after considering the difficult geographical conditions and limited working season in such areas, said a cabinet spokesman.

Old age security pensions were extended to all inmates who had attained 60 years age at the old age homes of Basantpur in Shimla district, Bhangrotu in Mandi district and Baijnath in Kangra district.

In accordance with Punjab governments’ decision, the cabinet approved release of revised secretariat pay to different categories of employees working in HP Secretariat, Governor’s Secretariat, HP Public Service Commission, HP High Court, HP Vidhan Sabha and Lokayukta from December 1, 2011.

The cabinet approved opening gymnasiums in all 3,243 gram panchayats of the state.

Cabinet approved releasing of Rs 5,000 per month as higher education allowance to all specialist doctors with post graduate degrees and Rs 2,000 to the others with diploma in different disciplines of medical sciences, state the cabinet spokesman.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik has nurtured Hill Post for over a decade. A chequered path had him drift from managing family owned apple orchards, to turning a documentary filmmaker, to a journalist - with India’s leading television networks and newspapers, to boot strapping in founding Start-Ups. He lives in Shimla.

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