Himachal

HIGH COURT DIRECTED GOVT TO REMOVE ALL ENCROACHMENTS, FROM NATIONAL, STATE OR OTHER HIGHWAYS WITHIN FOUR WEEKS

November 07, 2022 05:00 PM

  Vijyender Sharma/Shimla

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, has directed the State Government, to remove all the encroachments, from National, State or other Highways within four weeks. The order came to be passed on a petition pertaining to illegal encroachment made on Highways.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh, passed these orders on a petition filed by one Sh. Harnam Singh.

The petitioner submitted that he belongs to down trodden family. Since, the income of the petitioner was not sufficient to meet the requirements and needs of the family, therefore, he encroached upon National Highway and raised a dhaba about 8-9 years ago which does not create any hindrance to the free flow of traffic. As such, he prayed not to demolish his dhaba. It was further averred by the petitioner that respondent may be directed to take action against all the persons running roadside dhabas, only then action be taken against him to give at least similar treatment to similarly situated persons.

The Court in its earlier order observed that the petitioner alone cannot be singled out as there are other encroachments on the National Highways and directed respondents to ensure that all the encroachments on the highways be it National, State or other Highways, are removed.

The Court in its earlier order observed that the petitioner alone cannot be singled out as there are other encroachments on the National Highways and directed respondents to ensure that all the encroachments on the highways be it National, State or other Highways, are removed.

In compliance of orders of Court, Engineer-in-Chief, HPPWD has filed an affidavit in the Court stating therein that there are as many as 472 cases of encroachments that have been detected on the acquired width of road. It has been further submitted that encroachers could not be evicted for want of demarcation by the revenue agency.

However, during the course of hearing, the Court wondered why respondent department is waiting demarcation to be conducted when admittedly as per its own case, the encroachment has been made on the acquired width of the road. The Court observed that it is more than settled that all lands, which are not the property of any person or not vested in local authorities, belong to the government. All unoccupied lands are the property of the government, unless any person can establish his right or title to any such land.

The Court has also directed the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of the concerned District to render all necessary help including adequate police help at the time of removal of encroachments.

The compliance report in the matter has been ordered to be filed on 01.12.2022, on which date the issue with regard to developing the wayside amenities/toilets etc. on the highways, will also be taken up for consideration. 

 
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