Above: Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. Photo: Mouthshut.com
The National Green Tribunal (NGT), headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, is hearing cases of illegal construction in the hill town of Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. The cases have been presented in several PILs by the Society for Preservation of Kasauli and its Environs (SPOKE).
On Wednesday (August 2) the counsel for Him Giri Hotel said that they have all the permissions, but the consent from the board expired in March 2017. The Tribunal ordered the board to do a complete inspection of the hotels and check all the permissions. If the consent of operating is not done within three weeks, then the hotel will be shut down.
Barog Hotel: The counsel for Himachal Pradesh government presented a copy of permission for this hotel, dated 1997-98. The bench ordered that the original copy should be presented before it.
It was also clarified that the 1.5 km link road was not made by the forest department. To this the bench warned the counsels not to give wrong information, or fines will be imposed on the officers of the concerned departments.
Baikunth Resorts Pvt. Ltd: This hotel applied for consent in 1992 and consent to operate in 1993. The hotel, with 35 rooms and 16 cottages, did not have the requisite consent to operate between 2007 and 2017.
The bench directed as follows:
- File the application for consent.
- Inspection would be conducted after filing the application.
- If the above does not happen, the hotel will be shut down.
- Rs 2 lakh environment compensation to be paid within 2 weeks.
The rest of the matters of Kasauli will be taken up on August 8.
—India Legal Bureau