Illegal constructions on the rise in Palampur

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, August 21

Illegal constructions are on the rise in Palampur these days. The newly-formed municipal corporation (MC) has no manpower to check illegal constructions.

Earlier, the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department had the powers to approve the site plans of commercial and domestic buildings but now the responsibility is with the MC. However, till date the civic body has not developed facilities to pass the site plans of the buildings under its jurisdiction.

A number of shops have come up on forestland at Ram Chowk at Ghuggar on the outskirts of Palampur town. The construction of these shops is still going on. Interesting, the place is a reserved forest and all types of constructions on this land is prohibited.

The Divisional Forest Officer, Palampur, says that he has served a notice on encroachers and necessary action is being taken against the culprits. Besides, illegal buildings have also come up on riverbeds in Palampur. The Dhauladhar range in Kangra district falls in the seismic zone-V and is prone to flash floods.

Earlier also hotels, malls and shopping complexes were built on the banks of a local water stream, two tributaries of the Beas passing through Palampur in gross violations of rules. The constructions have squeezed the width of the riverbeds at many places.

A retired TCP officer says that there should be a ban on constructions on riverbeds. It is a matter of concern that such building plans have been approved. He adds that rules should be implemented strictly as a woman TCP officer was murdered in Solan three years ago.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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