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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Uttarakhand: assembly building in HC’s crosshairs

Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times  Dehradun, July 09, 2013
First Published: 19:39 IST(9/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:25 IST(10/7/2013)
The Uttarakhand high court’s July 4 order to cancel land allotments along riverbeds within a week and remove erected structures in 60 days has rattled the state government, especially with the assembly also being located on the banks of the Rispana river.
 
Following the June flood disaster, in which a number of buildings on riverbeds were swept away in Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag, the court ruled the state had no power to convert the land of a river into a dwelling place of people.
 
Apart from the assembly, the Doon University and residential colony for government employees are among the buildings on river banks.
 
“We are examining the order,” state revenue minister Yashpal Arya said on Tuesday.
 
Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal said it was “up to the government to take a call (on removing the assembly)”.
 
Dehradun-based petitioner Beena Bahuguna had filed public interest litigation before the HC in 2008 after the government allotted a piece of land to ‘Niti Mana Society’ in Dehradun. The land is shown as river in revenue records.
 
A two-member bench comprising chief justice Barin Ghosh and justice Servesh Kumar Gupta said in its order, “All allotments, given on the river to all allottees, must be cancelled within seven days from today (July 4). The allottees shall be given sixty days’ time to remove the constructions that they have made and restore the river to its original. In default, the state government shall remove all those constructions and restore the river to its original condition.”
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