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Nainital administration warns of action against 143 encroachers

Nainital municipality and district administration have warned 143 shopkeepers in Nainital that they will start demolishing their structures erected on encroached land from Wednesday if they don’t remove voluntarily by Monday

dehradun Updated: Jul 15, 2018 22:48 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Uttarakhand News
A view of Tibetan Market in Nainital.(Ritesh Sagar/HT)

Nainital municipality and district administration have warned 143 shopkeepers in Nainital that they will start demolishing their structures erected on encroached land from Wednesday if they don’t remove voluntarily by Monday.

A few days back the Nainital civic body had marked such shops in Tibetan and nearby markets near Naina Devi temple.

Rohitash Sharma, executive officer Nainital municipality, said complying with high court directions they had served notices to 143 shopkeepers, asking them to remove the encroachments they have made by Monday, failing which the district administration would be left with no option but to demolish them from Wednesday.

“This is for the first time that action against such a large number of shopkeepers would be taken under the anti-encroachment drive in the small Himalayan hill station,” he said.

The proposed action follows the directions issued by the division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh in the first week of June while disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Anjali Bhargav in 2015.

The HC directed that the encroachments by the shopkeepers near Naini Devi Temple be removed and recommended to the state government to frame a legislation on the lines of Himachal Pradesh’s Hindu Public Religious Institutions & Charitable Endowments. Act, 1984 to take over the management of the temples across Uttarakhand.

The petition had highlighted the issue of revenue generated from organising an annual fair in the ground in front of the Naina Devi temple, one of the Shakstipeeths, located on the banks of the Nainital lake, by a private society Ramsewak Sabha Nainital, instead of the state government.

The PIL pointed out that as the ground was a government nazool land, the revenue generated from the rent collected from shops /stalls set on the ground during the annual fair in September should go to the government coffers. The HC while disposing of the PIL directed the district administration and Nainital municipality to organise the annual fair on its own and deposit the revenue generated from shops and the stalls in the government treasury.

Last month, the HC also took a tough stand on encroachments in Dehradun and Mussoorie, directing the Dehradun municipal corporation, Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority and state functionaries concerned to remove all the unauthorised encroachments unauthorized constructions on public footpaths/streets/roads/pavements within four weeks by “using its might”.

First Published: Jul 15, 2018 22:48 IST