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Shimla to go on anti-encroachment drive


Shimla : Armed with an order from the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Shimla’s municipal corporation is to go on a drive to clear encroachments in the city’s various markets including the Mall, an official said Wednesday.

Municipal Commissioner A.N. Sharma told IANS: “We received orders from the Himachal Pradesh High Court Tuesday regarding the encroachments. We will ensure that all the encroachments are removed within the time frame.”

The court has held the commissioner personally liable for the implementation of the orders.

The court has taken a serious view that the shopkeepers who have not only encroached upon the streets but also have covered the drains that lead to blockades.

The court has also requested the citizens to bring the encroachments in its notice and the court will taken action on the basis of complaint.

A division bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surinder Singh observed: “We had in our earlier orders noted that the shopkeepers are willing to pay small fine for encroaching road and the time has come to ensure penalties are levied upon them, such as penal provision like being sent to jail or cancelling of the licence to run a shop.”

Shimla, called the “Queen of Hills” by the British, is today a picture of fallen glory, inflicted with the malaise of overpopulation, deteriorating civic amenities and haphazard constructions.

The historic Ridge, an open space just above the Mall, has also become a hub of commercial activities.