Next Solan building collapse kills 14, locals slam Himachal authorities for ignoring 12,000 illegal structuresAt least 14 people have been killed when a building in Solan collpased on Sunday due to heavy rains and poor construction.advertisement Manjeet Sehgal SolanJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 23:04 IST Rescue officials work at the Solan building collapse site. (IANS photo)The Solan guest house collapse that killed 14 people, including 13 Armymen, has exposed how the state government has put the lives of many in danger by not acting against violators.Investigations revealed that the structure was built in 2009 and was illegal. The owner, who has been booked by the local administration, had raised the structure beyond permissible limits. Also, the building was constructed on a slippery land without following the bylaws which led to the fatal accident.”It is very unfortunate. Rescue operation was started immediately. Orders have been given to investigate the cause of the collapse. As per the information we have, the building structure was not as per specifications. An FIR has been registered against the owner of the building and a magisterial probe has been ordered,” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.While local authorities registered a case against the owner after the structure collapsed, they continue to ignore nearly a dozen illegal structures located within a few metres from the collapse site.Investigations have revealed that there are a hundreds of illegal buildings in the vicinity. The Supreme Court had ordered demolition of 13 hotels in Kasauli for violations of Town and Country Planning laws. A woman town and country planner was shot dead by one such man who had constructed a six-storey guest house illegally.Thirty eight Manali hotels were issued notices by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). There were similar violations in Dharamshala and Shimla as well but the state government took action only on those hotels and resorts that figured in the list of the Supreme Court and NGT.There are thousands of illegal structures in the state that pose a threat to the lives of the people besides threatening the ecology. The state government is sitting idle due to political reasons.There are 12,694 illegal structures in Himachal Pradesh and the state government wanted to regularise them under the Town and Country Planning Regularisation Amendment Act-2017.In, 2016 the state assembly approved the amendment and also got Governor’s assent in 2017 but the matter reached the state high court via a PIL and the court reserved its orders. Sources say the number of illegal structures is more than 15,000.The beautiful hill state of Himachal Pradesh has been encroached upon by land mafias. While the Land and Tenancy Act prohibits outsiders from buying land in the state, mafias in collusion with the officials have sold a sizeable chunk of the state’s prime land.The locals are up in the arms against the ‘outsiders’ who first bought large pieces of land and then constructed multi-storied structures by flouting the laws. These structures are now posing a threat to the lives of locals.”The laws are meant for the common man. The panchayats, revenue officials and police or Town and Country planning officials turn a blind eye when people start raising issue of multi-storey structures as their palms are greased,” alleged Suresh a resident of Kumarhatti, who fears for his life every time he crosses a five-storey illegal structure located close to his house.Another local resident, Roshan said the district administration shut its eyes on the illegal structures which have not only violated the planning Act, but also destroyed the scenic beauty of the surroundings.”This was a beautiful land which now appears to be a concrete jungle. But money speaks and silences everybody. We request the state government to do a survey and dismantle the illegal structures,” said Roshan.Also Read | Solan building collapse: More bodies retrieved, death toll now 14Also Watch | Solan: Rescue operation underwayFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee
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