DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday directed the state government officials to submit detailed report in response to a Public Interest Litigation regarding illegal construction at foothills between Dehradun and Mussorie region.
The court also directed to seal any kind of construction that is in contravention to the building by-laws 2015 amendment, which clearly mandates that no construction can be carried out where the angle of slope is over 30 degrees.
Abhijay Negi, counsel for the petitioner social activist Reenu Paul, said, “The division bench of the Uttarakhand High Court, lead by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma, had directed the vice-vhairman of Mussorie-Dehradun development authority and Municipal Commissioner Dehradun to personally inspect the foothills between Dehradun and Mussorie region, and primarily in Rajpur area and forthwith seal any kind of construction that is in contravention to the building by-laws 2015 amendment, which clearly mandates that no construction can be carried out where the angle of slope is over 30 degrees.”
According to the petitioner, the said policy, also known as the foothills policy mandates that the small hillocks that define the early features of the Shivallik range are preserved.
“Moreover, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has in the case of Hinch Lal Tiwari v. Leela Devi, held that foothills are a natural resource that merits protection,” state the petitioner in her PIL.
The petitioner requested the court that all throughout the Rajpur region between Dehradun and Mussorie, the foothills have been systematically destroyed, in as much as hillocks after hillocks have completely been removed producing photographs before the court showing the kind of disaster that had been caused to the local ecology.
Onn May 3, 2021, the court had directed Nagar Nigam Dehradun and Mussoorie Dehradun Development authority to prepare a report and submit to the court till May 26, 2021 which has not been yet submitted. The court took serious view of the matter and the respondents were given another opportunity to file a proper report and affidavit till June 9, 2021.
The Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board was also directed to file reply by June 9. Next hearing of the matter has been scheduled on June 16, 2021.