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Posted On : 18 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
Kasauli getting finished due to illegal construction: SC told
The desperate bid of a Kasauli- based hotel to stay out of an NGT order directing its closure, was today opposed in the Supreme Court by an NGO which claimed that the picturesque Himachal Pradesh town was "getting finished" due to unauthorised construction.

Society for Preservation of Kasauli and its Environs (SPOKE), on whose plea the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered demolition and closure of several hotels and resorts which were extended illegally without requisite approvals, opposed the petition filed by one such hotel for stay on the green panel's verdict.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was told by the NGO that if the court would allow the hotel -- Kasauli Inn and Kasauli Regency -- to operate, it would have "spill effect" as several such people would move the court seeking the relief.

"The NGT has said in its judgement about the alarming state of affairs in Kasauli. Kasauli town is getting finished due to this. They cannot be allowed to operate," the counsel appearing for SPOKE told the bench.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the hotel, said they were seeking a stay on the NGT order directing closure of the hotel as well as disconnection of its electric supply.

He said the hotels had seven and 10 rooms respectively and in their case, they had an statutory consent to operate.

However, the bench observed, "In your case also, there is unauthorised construction (as per NGT order)".

The bench initially said it would pass an order similar to the one it had passed on July 11 staying the NGT's order to demolish another hotel in Kasauli with a rider that the alleged unauthorised constructions should not be utilised.

However, after the NGO opposed the plea, the bench fixed the matter for hearing on August 21.

The apex court, which had earlier observed that no law was followed in the construction of some resorts and hotels in Kasauli, is hearing separate pleas of some resorts and hotels there which have sought a stay on the NGT order.

It has already stayed the NGT order with respect to some of the hotels and resorts there.

The NGT had imposed hefty fines on several hotels including Bird's View Resort, Chelsea Resorts, Hotel Pine View, Narayani Guest House, Hotel Nilgiri, Hotel Divsikha and AAA Guest House for causing irretrievable damage to the ecology, polluting the environment and raising unauthorised constructions.

The NGT's judgement had come on the plea filed by SPOKE which had contended that such huge commercial activity cannot be permitted due to the fragile ecology of Kasauli town.