Plot owners in green areas seek relief
Shimla,Even as the issue of lifting ban on construction in the green areas is being deliberated upon, plot owners who bought land before the area was declared no construction zone in 2000 are seeking relief from the government.
It is under the banner of the Core Area Sufferer’s Association that 60 plot owners have sought exemption so that they can construct need based light structures, which are at a safe distance from the trees. The government on its part has constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to look into the pros and cons of lifting the ban on construction in 17 green belts of the town which has been in existence for the last 10 years. It is after taking into account all these factors that a final view on the issue will be taken.
“The government had notified the green belts unilaterally without consultations and moreover plots bought from the Housing Board too were covered by this ban,” contends RL Jain, president of the Core Area Sufferer’s Association.
He rued the fact that why should a handful of people suffer when big builders had been given the go ahead to construct huge colonies and complexes.
Even officials in the Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Municipal Corporation (MC) are of the opinion that people who bought the land before green belts were notified in 2000 should be given relief. There is also another viewpoint where it is felt that such people should either be compensated by giving them market value for their plots or by providing them an alternative piece of land.
The plot owners’ argument that construction in several other areas of the town which have a lot of trees but have not been included in the green belts is causing much more damage. This also gives rise to the question that should there be a fresh demarcation of the green belts so that areas which have a lot of trees be included while those which do not have much greenery can be excluded.
Whatever decision is finally taken on the issue, even environmentalists and common citizens who want the ban on construction in the green area to stay feel that the 60 plot owners who bought land prior to the notification in 2000 should be given relaxation.