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Rs 6 cr parking at Bir-Billing yet to be opened

2024 2largeimg 84721862Palampur: A parking complex constructed by the Tourism Department at a cost of Rs 6 crore near the paragliding site at Bir-Billing last year is yet to be made operational in the absence of various clearances from the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) and the Special Area Development Authority (SADA), resulting in inconvenience to tourists and fliers. The building is complete in every respect but is yet to be inaugurated.

The parking complex was constructed without prior approval of the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) and the Special Area Development Authority (SADA). Therefore, the government has not inaugurated it. SDM, Baijnath, Devi Chand Thakur, who is also the chairman of the Special Area Development Authority (SADA), says that till date, the Tourism Department has not applied for approval from the SADA. He adds once the Tourism Department submits documents to the SADA, it could study the matter for the grant of approval.

Aman Spahiya, Planning Officer, TCP, says that despite serving various notices, the Tourism Department continued with the construction of the project in gross violation of rules. The Himachal Pradesh High Court took cognisance of news items appearing in these columns and directed the Tourism Department to dismantle one floor of the building, which was constructed illegally and was a hazard for the fliers.

“Besides, the parking was being constructed in the no-construction zone. Therefore, the TCP had denied permission thrice,” he adds.

Bir-Billing residents say that the government has acquired land for developing the landing site for paragliding and there is no proposal for the construction of a parking lot.

Vinay Dhiman, District Tourism Officer, says that the matter is pending with the government and approval is likely to be granted soon as the formalities have mostly been completed.

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