Expressing serious concern over encroachments in Dehradun, the Uttarakhand High Court today directed the authorities concerned to remove all unauthorised structures in the city within four weeks. The order was passed by a division bench comprising justices Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh during the hearing of a PIL filed by a Dehradun-based journalist. The court directed the Municipal Corporation of Dehradun, the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) and state functionaries to remove all the illegal encroachment on public footpaths, streets and roads.
It asked the Uttarakhand chief secretary to form a nodal agency to initiate disciplinary proceedings and impose penalty against officers during whose tenure government, municipal and forest land were encroached upon. The bench also took strict view of people who took advantage of rehabilitation policies, but did not surrender their shops at the erstwhile places.
Justices Sharma and Singh ordered that their new leases be cancelled and the municipal functionaries should take over the shops and auction them again in accordance with the law. The state government was also directed to carry out amendments in the building byelaws of the Nagar Nigam, Dehradun and the MDDA to ensure no unauthorised construction took place.
The court said that the state authorities should take steps to revive Rispana river within three months by removing encroachments along its banks. Noting that the entire state of Uttarakhand is in zone 4 to 5 of seismic activity, the judges said construction of new buildings should be permitted only after receiving a structural engineer’s report.