Shimla, Jul 25
Himachal Pradesh High Court directed the State and National Highway Authority of India to ensure that all illegal encroachments including food eateries, Dhaba, Tea stalls, hotels and shops etc should be removed within three months of passing this court order on the national highway no-5 .
The order was passed by the division bench of justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and justice Satyen Vaidya while hearing a writ petition on the matter here today.
Court directed the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police to ensure that no further unauthorised construction of any nature should be carried out.
Court said that it has passed an order in another PIL directed National Highway Authority as also the State Government to remove forthwith all the encroachments that are existing over Highways and submit compliance report within six weeks.
” It is not only high time but it is necessary to discourage encroachers immediately to such unlawful activities of encroaching on government land, that too, on the National Highways.
It is on account of higher returns, such illegal encroachments are carried out over the prime properties on the National Highways and structures are constructed thereupon by the unscrupulous persons, without any right. ” he said.
Therefore, all such cases of illegal encroachments, unauthorised constructions have to be dealt with sternly and swiftly. Social justice will continue to be perpetrated with impunity.
The petitioner moved before the court after action of NHAI to notice him to remove illegal encroachment as he had been running a Dhaba on the NH-5.
Court mentioned that merely because someone is economically weak and has no adequate means of livelihood, will not give him a right to encroach and erect structures on any public place or else there.
At the outset, it may be observed that footpaths, street, pavement, acquired width of the Highways are public properties which are intended to serve the convenience of the general public.
They are not for private use and their use for private purpose frustrates the very object for which they are carved out from portions of public roads. The future expansion of the roads gets stalled and frustrated.
The encroachment of acquired width of land of the road results in permanent obstruction to free passage of traffic and even the pedestrians safety and security is put to stake.
The counsel for the petitioner Ajay Sharma, said that on the road in question, various other persons are running dhabas and would argue that if at all eviction is to be effected, then the same could not be ordered to be
adopting the policy of pick and choose.
Dismissing the petition the court said that petitioner alone cannot be singled out as there are other encroachments on the NationalHighways.
We find merit in this submission and, therefore, direct respondents state and NHAI ensure that all the encroachments on the highways be it National, State or other Highways, are removed within a period of three months from today, the 21 page order mentioned .
The court has fixed the next date of hearing to compliance of court order on Oct 25 ,2021\.