Shimla, May 9
On Monday, the State high court ordered the H.P. Government to remove illegal encroachments from all National and State highways and roads in the state within three months. A division bench comprising Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Satyen Vaidya has asked the Chief Secretary to ensure compliance.
The court said that it is duty-bound to remove the possession of the public property. The court noted that illegal occupants could not be spared on the ground of mercy. The court passed these orders while rejecting a petition of Harnam Singh alias Rinku Chandel, a resident of Narel of Theog area.
The petitioner had appealed to the court not to demolish his roadside dhaba, as it feeds his family. The Public Works Department had issued a notice to him and ordered him to remove the dhaba. The petitioner challenged this order before the High Court. They had argued that the petitioner runs a dhaba to earn a livelihood. Adding, due to this dhaba, neither the traffic stops nor there is any problem for anyone else. It was argued that he was not the only one to do illegal construction on the National Highway, but people across the state have done illicit structures on the roadside and are earning their livelihood. Therefore, the orders given regarding removing its illegal construction should be quashed.
The court, however, after perusing all the records related to the case, found that the temporary constructions built by the occupants on the roadside for their livelihood cannot be ignored. The matter will be heard again on October 25 to ensure the orders.
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