Home Dehradun Why is tourism unregulated in Doon Valley, HC asks govt

Why is tourism unregulated in Doon Valley, HC asks govt

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 13 Jun: Uttarakhand High Court has expressed displeasure with the state government for its ‘failure’ to prepare a tourism plan for Dehradun which complies with the Doon Valley Notification. It has also summoned Secretary Tourism in this regard. It may be issued that Doon Valley Notification has been in force since past 34 years. The Court has acted on the petition filed by lawyer and environmentalist Akash Vashishtha. The division bench headed by Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi also comprised of Justice Rakesh Thapliyal.
Taking note of the uncontrolled and unregulated tourism as brought to its notice, in respect of the entire Doon Valley region that includes Dehradun, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar and adjoining areas, the Uttarakhand High Court, today, directed the state to explain why it has failed to prepare the Tourism Development Plan and get it approved by the central government, as mandated under the Doon Valley Notification 1989, issued then by the MOEF, on Supreme Court’s directions.
Summoning the state Tourism Secretary on the next date of hearing, the High Court also expressed anguish on the state of affairs and the breakdown of the ecological order in Doon Valley Region.
The Court observed that there is no understandable reason why the state has failed to comply with the provisions of such an important Notification, inter alia placing restrictions on certain category of industries, mining, preparation of TDP, Master Plan and  Land Use Plans of the entire Doon Valley Region, even after 34 years.
The bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi further observed that uncontrolled number of tourists are going everyday to this region. There is no count of the number of vehicles entering this region. But the state government does not wish to regulate anything. The bench also queried if there is any count of how many hotels are there, how many more are coming up everyday, where they are drawing water from etc.
Counsel for the Petitioner, Rakshit Joshi informed the court that the Doon Valley Notification was the first Notification in the country to declare a region as an Eco-Sensitive Zone. Joshi said that for last 34 years, such an important Notification, issued by the Central Government on the directions of the Supreme Court has not been complied with. It is a very reasoned Notification. The entire Doon Valley region is undergoing severe ecological and environmental damage. Illegal, unauthorised constructions are being raised everyday. The region cannot bear this much of load. The court has listed the matter after three weeks.