Action against illegal hotels in McLeod Ganj area

McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj Lobsang Wangyal

By Lalit Mohan

DHARAMSHALA, India, 31 May 2017

Dharamshala MC has finally initiated action against hotel owners for constructing illegal buildings in McLeod Ganj area. Corporation officials yesterday evening severed power connection to one of the biggest hotels of McLeod Ganj. Sources here said that power connection of the hotel was cut as some portion of it was constructed illegally and the hotel did not have a sewerage treatment plant.

Commissioner of Dharamshala municipal corporation Lalit Jain said that they have prepared a list of hotels that had carried out illegal constructions after June 2016, the cut off date for applying under the retention policy of the state government. Action was being initiated against these hotels. “We are going to proceed with severing the power connections of violators,” he said.

It was the first time that the municipal corporation authorities have taken strict action against such a violation. The action has sent panic waves among the hoteliers. The sources here said that yesterday a meeting of Upper Dharamshala Hotel Association was held in which they mulled ways to get out of the present situation.

In the notices given to the violators, the corporation has sought detailed map approved by the MC and Town and Country Planning Department, completion certificates of building issued by the concerned departments, and clearance certificate issued by the pollution control board, among other documents.

Illegal constructions have mushroomed in Dharamshala region, especially in McLeod Ganj area when the state government announced its retention policy. Under the policy state government decided to regularize 100 per cent deviation from the approved maps in the entire state. However, most of the hoteliers in the region carried out extensive illegal constructions with an idea that their buildings would be regularized under the retention policy.

So blatant were the illegal constructions that even the liaison officer to the Dalai Lama, who is an official of the Union Ministry for External Affairs, had also complained against the illegal constructions carried out in the vicinity of their office. The security experts had written regarding the threat posed to the security of the Dalai Lama due to the illegal buildings in Upper Dharamshala area.

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