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8 more localities in Shimla declared green zones to check haphazard construction

IANS | November 25, 2023 10:43 PM

SHIMLA: Acting tough, the Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday announced a series of measures aimed at curbing haphazard construction in key areas of the state.

It said the Cabinet at a recent meeting approved plans to extend the planning area in Shimla, Chopal and Kullu, with particular focus on addressing the challenges posed by unplanned development.

Shimla, a city known for its picturesque landscapes, currently boasts 17 existing green belts within the planning area, covering 414 hectares, and 76 per cent of this area is designated as government land.

Now, the state has given the green light to declare an additional eight areas as green zones, an official statement said.

These include Retreat, Mashobra, Band Tukda Andri, Shiv Mandir Andri, Tal and Giri, DPF Khalini, BCS Mist Chamber, and Parimahal of Shimla.

The objective is clear, to expand the green area and safeguard against haphazard construction. The government said.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu emphasised the importance of learning from the recent monsoon disaster.

He said, “Monsoon fury has taught us a lesson to balance between development and environment. It is high time to take steps for environmental preservation for sustainable development.”

The Chief Minister said the decision to include more areas in the green zone under Shimla’s planning area involves amending Chapter 17 of the Development Plan.

This initiative aims not only to protect the existing green belts, but also to minimise the ecological footprint of human interventions. The government’s commitment to environmental preservation for the sake of sustainable development is reflected in these decisive steps.

The Chief Minister emphasised, “Moreover, recognising the need for similar measures in Kullu and Chopal, the state government has decided to extend the planning area to control haphazard construction in these regions. The state government has laid special focus on environmental protection.

“Apart from enhancing the green area, we have been promoting e-vehicles and harnessing green energy to meet the demands of the state. These steps would go a long way in achieving the goal of sustainable development and conserving the environment for future generations.”

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