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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) principal bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, is hearing the multiple cases of irregular and illegal construction in the hill town of Kasauli in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh.

On Friday, the bench was told by the counsel for the petitioner, Society for Preservation of Kasauli and its Environs (SPOKE), that HR Sweets (belonging to Ishwar Singh) is constructing a six-storey building without any plan. The counsel pointed out that three storeys are permissible: 2 plus1.

Justice Kumar, in jest, suggested that the first two floors may be demolished. On a serious note, he heard the presentation.

The higher-power committee, constituted to conduct inspection in 2016, reported in April that year that there have been several violations of law (from Kalka to Dharampur) and the six stories here have violated all provision of the master plan.

The bench ordered: “Keeping in view the violations Ishwar Singh will have to demolish the building and he shall also pay the sum of Rs 50,000 as compensation. He shall also do no loss to the environment.

During the last hearing, Hotel Whispering Winds was fined Rs 1 lakh as environment compensation. The bench also ordered that the hotel’s third floor, which is illegal, will have to be demolished and the basement shall be sealed with concrete.

Director, Himachal Pradesh board will have to file an affidavit within two weeks. The chairman of the town planning board of Solan was called by the bench and was directed to submit a report regarding all hotels which have 25-plus rooms. It was suggested that 2-3 hotels be presented per week.

India Legal Bureau                 

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