Friday, February 23, 2024

Uttarakhand HC directs govt to constitute new inquiry against forest encroachment

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The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday heard the case against Chidanand Muni and Purushottam Dutt Sharma of Kunaon village of Rajaji National Park for encroaching on 135 bighas of land in the reserve forest.

The Court has asked the State Government to dissolve the old inquiry committee and set up a new District level committee. The Court has directed the committee to investigate people living illegally there and submit a report by December 29.

The case was heard before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Alok Kumar Verma.

Advocate Vivek Shukla, a resident of Haridwar, had filed a PIL stating that Chidanand Muni and his colleague Purushottam Dutt Sharma had encroached on 135-bigha land of the reserve forest in Kunaun village within Rajaji National Park, 14 km ahead of Haridwar. Heavy construction has been done there since 2006. There is a forest post near the construction site but the forest department is not taking any action against this encroachment.

The petitioner complained to the Forest Department and State Government officials several times but no action was taken.

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