Himachal government hails apex court’s decision on Shimla Development plan
SHIMLA — Welcoming the apex court’s decision of setting aside the National Green Tribunal’s orders on the Shimla Planning Area and other two subsequent orders restraining implementation of the Shimla Development Plan, an official on Thursday said it was due to the concerted efforts of the state government that the case was effectively pleaded against the blanket ban on carrying out development activities and constructions in Shimla.
Principal Advisor, Media, to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Naresh Chauhan said the Shimla Development Plan was notified by the present government in March 2023 with a new blueprint for construction activities in Shimla Planning Areas wherein it was argued that the NGT has exceeded its jurisdiction and ambit.
The Supreme Court ordered transfer of a pending case in the Himachal Pradesh High Court that challenged the NGT’s recent decision of quashing the controversial Shimla Development Plan, 2041 to be heard in the apex court.
“Today the judgment of the Supreme Court has given much needed relief to the people of Shimla to carry out development activities which were in limbo for the past many years,” Chauhan said.
He credited the victory to efforts of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu, who hired experienced lawyers for arguing the case. He also lauded the court’s decision which stated that the exercise of power for finalising the development plan rests with the state and the NGT can’t issue direction and encroach upon the statutory functions of the state.
Meanwhile, former Urban Development and Town and Country Planning Minister Suresh Bhardwaj congratulated the people and hailed the Supreme Court for clearing Shimla Development Plan.
The BJP leader said the Shimla Development Plan was prepared by the previous government.
“We had designed this plan for Shimla. I am glad that the Supreme Court has cleared it and now the plan will help Shimla town’s development in a better way.
“It will help in planned development, besides dealing with various issues,” he added.
The building guidelines of the whole Shimla are divided mainly into core area and non-core area. The proposed building bye-laws for core area were suggested to be two floors, habitable attic and parking, whereas for non-core area, three floors, habitable attic and parking were suggested.
It was also emphasised the more relaxations in terms of building height, number of floors and land-use would be given along the main roads, including national and state highways.
After seeing the progress of the GIS-based Development Plan for Shimla Planning Area, the former minister suggested to go ahead with the development plan and notify it before January 25. After notification, the draft will be put forward for the public notification, he added.