Demolition drive on, VIPs spared
Shimla, Even though the government has been talking tough on checking unauthorised constructions in the capital, it has failed to take action in some high-profile cases, including the Jakhu aerial ropeway, Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan and the residence of the owner of Jagson International Ltd.
Despite gross violations having been committed in all three cases, the government has been dithering in taking a decision, thereby giving an impression that the high and mighty can get away without being penalised. All three cases have been pending with the government for over a year now.
Interestingly, the 13-storey structure raised by Jagson International as part of the takeoff point of the Jakhu aerial ropeway near the US Club area is awaiting regularisation of two storeys that have been constructed without permission. In fact, this structure happens to be the tallest structure in Shimla and the building plan of only 11 storeys has been approved by the Town and Country Planning department.
Though there was a move to compound the two floors made illegally without permission at a hefty amount, yet that did not come through and there is no decision on its fate as of now. With the single umbrella committee in the Municipal Corporation (MC) being given powers for approving building plans in the city, the case is still pending.
Similar is the case of Jagdish Prasad Gupta, owner of Jagson International Ltd, as he has raised the fortress-like boundary walls of his house closely around the majestic deodar trees in the Richmond area in Jakhu. Despite MLAs, both from the ruling and the opposition party, raising the issue in the assembly several times, the government has failed to act. Besides deviation in the house construction, the violations include construction of a road and walls exceeding height and thickness without permission.
Another exemplary case of violation is the manner in which 30 trees were suffocated to death within the boundary wall of Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan near Ramachandran Chowk on the Forest Road, right next to the Raj Bhawan. In complete violation of the rules, a huge 10-m-high wall was raised against the permissible limit of 4 m all around the property and the case has been pending before the Core Area Committee for the last almost two years.