HC orders removal of encroachments in forest area by June 30
Shimla, June 6 (UNI) The Himachal High Court today directed the state government to remove all encroachments within the Shimla Municipal Corporation (MC) limits by June 30 and asked the Forest Principal Secretary to file a fresh affidavit by June 12 explaining the steps taken by the government to remove the encroachments.
The court, in its order, said the earlier affidavit filed in the court was not satisfactory since the state had not mentioned about the manner and the time limit for removing these encroachments.
The order was passed on a petition filed by a law student Pradeep Kumar who urged the court to direct the respondents to remove all encroachments from the Shimla MC forestland.
Taking a serious note of the encroachments over the forestland, the court ordered the Shimla MC to remove all encroachments by June 30.
A bench comprising Chief Justice V K Gupta and Justice Surjit Singh said, ''we hold Shimla Deputy Commissioner responsible for implementing its direction of removing the encroachments''.
The court said the state government should keep in mind that the order of removing the encroachments has been upheld by the Supreme Court therefore it was the responsibility of the government to implement this order.
The corporation appraised the court that 916 encroachments were found over the forestland under the Shimla Municipal Corporation area and action has been initiated in 499 cases. In 292 cases, order of eviction has been passed, it said.
Acting on the court order, the Shimla MC initiated the eviction drive, but later extended the date to December 31, 2005 for those who were willing to remove the encroachments. However, the drive was again postponed keeping in view the winter season.
UNI AS HS PM RAI2100