Himachal imposes ban on hill cutting, fresh building permissions till September 16


Hill cutting for any kind of private development and construction activity except for rebuilding disaster-affected buildings and roads have been banned in Himachal Pradesh for two weeks up to September 16, a spokesperson of the state government said here on Saturday.

Besides, fresh permission for planning and building construction has also been banned for commercial or tourism units in Shimla, Mandi, Kullu, Kangra, Solan and Chamba districts for two weeks.

The spokesperson said during the ongoing monsoon season, unprecedented environmental disruptions, including catastrophic landslides, land subsidence, river-bank failures and severe erosion, have been witnessed across the state, leading to the tragic loss of lives and properties.

He said the decision has been taken to ensure utmost safety for human lives, habitations, infrastructure and to preserve the fragile ecological environment of the hill state.

The order shall come into force with immediate effect and violations will be dealt in accordance with law, the spokesperson added.

So far, 257 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in the state since the onset of monsoon on June 24. Himachal Pradesh has also suffered losses of Rs 8,663 crore, according to the state emergency operation centre.

However, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said the state has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore as estimates are still pouring in.