Demolition drive to knock down illegal structures in Nainital

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Nainital (Uttarakhand), Aug. 9 (ANI): Civic authorities in Naintal launched a fresh demolition drive of illegal buildings and structures, which were posing a threat to the fragile landscape and environment of the region, on Sunday.

The natural beauty of Nainital that attracts hordes of tourists every year is gradually fading away with the coming up of several concrete structures, both legal and illegal.

The Supreme Court also had taken a serious view of such developments, forcing the Nainital Development Authority to knock down all these illegal structures.

"We had sealed this building in January. But, despite that, they carried on construction activities. An FIR (First Information Report) has also been lodged against this person. But, still he continued constructing. So, in the end, we had to demolish the building," said Dheeraj Gabryal, Secretary of Nainital Development Authority.

However, one of the building owners complained that he was not given any prior notice.

"They did not give us notice. If they had given us a notice, we would not have built this," said Ajiz Ahmed, owner of an unauthorised building.

Environmentalists have maintained that the rapid illegal construction were responsible for the decline of greenery in the city.

"The natural beauty of Nainital is extraordinary. In order to protect its beauty, we should have put a check on construction of several buildings. But, unfortunately, building after building was constructed, both legal and illegal. You can see many unauthorised buildings being demolished," said Navin Verma, an environmentalist.

Situated at an altitude of 1,938 metres above sea level, Nainital is surrounded by mountains and boasts of a world famous lake named Naini, which is the prime attraction of the city.

Tourists in large numbers throng the city every year to catch a glimpse of its natural beauty, which unfortunately has been marred by the illegal construction activities. (ANI)

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