Uttarakhand High Court bans all kinds of heavy vehicles in Nainital town
The Uttarakhand high court has issued a series of directions to the state government, including imposing immediate ban on all kinds of heavy vehicles in Nainital .Updated: Aug 30, 2019 14:37 IST
In an important PIL seeking protection of Nainital’s fragile ecology, the Uttarakhand high court has issued a series of directions to the state government, including imposing immediate ban on all kinds of heavy vehicles in Nainital and directing the government to prepare master plan for Nainital within six months.
The court noted that there is no reasonable explanation as to why the master plan has not been finalised as yet.
The court ruled “immediate ban on all kinds of heavy vehicles in Nainital, except in an emergency.... New hotels should not be encouraged in Nainital, though the Government may encourage opening up of small hotels and homestays outside the lake town”.
Many important directions have been issued during various hearings of this PIL since it was filed in 2012.
It was also clubbed together with many other related petitions.
The court issues these directions while disposing of the PIL filed by environmental activist Ajay Singh Rawat in 2012.
The order was issued by Justice Lok Pal Singh and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia on August 27 but its copy was made available on Thursday.
The court order stated that the “common factor in these petitions is that they all raise concern regarding either lack of public amenities in Nainital or have raised an issue with which the general public is concerned”.
Rawat in his PIL had expressed concern over unauthorized and dangerous construction activities being carried out by the builders in the “green-belt” area of Nainital.
The PIL alleged that these illegal construction activities are not only in violation of the building laws but are also harmful to the ecology, in one way or the other.
The PIL also alleged that some of these activities are being carried out in the ‘prohibited zones’ in Nainital, a place which has been declared as a geologically unstable and ecologically sensitive area.
The PIL had sought directions by HC to immediately declare the entire Nainital region as an ‘Eco-Sensitive Zone’, as recommended by the expert committee of the union ministry of environment and forests in 2003.
HC order stated that in 2014 the court had directed district magistrate, Nainital and all the concerned parties to inform the Court as to the steps taken for the preservation and sustainability of the water bodies in Nainital and other lakes in the periphery.
On improving traffic in Nainital, HC stated, “Let the plan submitted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi be implemented as expeditiously as possible. We must though add that tourist seasons in Nainital is not limited to just summers but spring and autumn as well, apart from the regular weekends.
“Vehicular traffic during this period is huge and the lake town of Nainital has very few parking spaces.”
The HC also directed the district magistrate, Nainital and the senior superintendent of police, Nainital along with other concerned authorities to take stock of the traffic situation before each season, as far as practical in the month of February itself, and prepare a traffic plan for control of traffic in Nainital.
First Published: Aug 30, 2019 14:37 IST