The Hush Post: Facing a big dilemma in the enforcement of the judgment and questioning the jurisdiction of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in banning construction in Shimla ’s ‘Core Area’, the Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to appeal against the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). State Chief secretary V C Pharka held consultations with a high-powered committee including additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) and Principal secretary (Environment) Tarun Kapoor and Principal Secretary (Law) Baldev Singh to examine the implications of the order. Senior officials said though it would take some time to file an appeal, there will be strict compliance of the NGT order till the state gets relief. The departments concerned are looking into the adverse impact and practical difficulties in implementing the NGT order.
The NGT order is being considered a major stumbling block in the Shimla Smart City Plan on which the authorities are working on, as it will push back efforts to improve the town in terms of civic amenities, traffic mobility, sewerage and solid waste management beside water supply and other urban infrastructure. Earlier, all the elected municipal councillors of the BJP, Congress and Left had adopted a resolution asking the state government to file a review petition against the NGT order. Civil rights groups like the Shimla Nagrik Sabha and Shimla Jankalyan Samiti have also expressed displeasure over the NGT’s directions and had threatened to move court against the November 16 order of the green tribunal.
The NGT banned construction activity in the town’s Core Area and in the 17 green belts where a similar ban existed since December 2000.