December 08, 2017 06:32 PM

Shimla (Vijyender Sharma)

The High Court of H.P. directed to remove all the encroachments from the H.P. forest land in excess to 5 bighas of land. The High Court also issued the directions that it shall be the personal responsibility of office bearers/officers, irrespective of their rank and file, of Gram Panchayat, Gram Sabha, Panchayat Samiti, Zila Parishad and employees/officials of the Forest, Revenue and Police Department to ensure that the orders passed by the Court are complied with in letter and spirit.

A Division Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders in a bunch of petitions, regarding encroachment of forest land.

The Court in its earlier order had directed to disconnect the electricity and water connections provided to all illegal structures raised by way of encroachment over the Government land and to remove the encroachments, destroy the crops and plants over the encroached land and to fence the vacated land, all at the costs and expenses of the encroachers.

The Court directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest to place on record the half yearly report submitted by the Forest Guards with respect to the number of encroachments. The Court also directed the State, Forest department and Deputy Commissioner to submit report regarding recovery of undue profit made by the encroachers. The Court further directed these respondents to ensure that in cases of encroachments no encroacher is permitted to enter the encroached land, for any purpose such as cultivation of crops, pruning the apples or other fruits from the trees standing thereupon, digging or spraying or reaping the harvest from the encroached land. The Court also directed the respondents to use drone not only to keep hawk eye on encroached areas but also detect the cases of fresh encroachment.

The Court has directed the respondents to file status/compliance report clearly stating therein the action taken by them in ensuring compliance of all the orders that have been passed from time to time, by the Court in the matters of encroachments, particularly those over the forest land.  The matter has now been listed for 20.12.2017.

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