Hearing on the public interest litigation filed against encroachment and illegal construction on reserved forest land near Rishikesh by Chidanand Saraswati, the Uttarakhand high court has directed the State Government to demolish the construction within three months and submit a report in the court. The petition was heard by the bench comprising acting chief justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath and justice NS Dhanik.
According to the case details, Haridwar resident Archana Shukla had filed the PIL stating that at Veerpur Khurd Veerbhadra near Rishikesh, 35 bigha of reserved forest land had been encroached upon and 52 rooms, one large hall and a cowshed had been constructed on the encroached land. The petitioner had alleged that since Chidanand Saraswati had influential connections, the forest department and revenue department had ignored the encroachment and construction. The forest department and administration had been informed on various occasions about the encroachment and construction but no action had been taken by the authorities in this regard. The petitioner stated that due to this, she had to approach the high court seeking removal of the encroachment and handing over of the land back to the government.