Himalayan Ski Village- A Possibility Now !

Decks have been cleared for the implementation of the controversial Himalayan Ski Village project in the Manali area with the state government withdrawing the appeal filed by it before the state High Court. The appeal challenged the judgement passed by the single judge in the High Court giving nod to the project with a rider that the company will obtain the environment clearances from the authorities concerned. The matter came up today before the division bench comprising Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice RB Misra. During the course of hearing the counsel, the state submitted that it had decided to implement the judgement of the single judge and wanted to withdraw the appeal. It is pertinent to mention here that for establishing this mega tourism project, an implementation agreement was executed on June 5, 2006, and a detailed project report (DPR) was submitted by the company to the state and the same was approved by the Cabinet on June 5, 2007. It was conveyed to the company also. The company also submitted the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment Management Plan (EMP) to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. But the state government changed its stand after the BJP formed the government in December 2007. The state had then issued a show cause notice to the company on January 7, 2010, and the same was challenged by the company before the state High Court on the ground that the state has already signed an MoU, the Implementation Agreement and a DPR. It was further contended by the company that the decision to issue the show cause notice is unilateral. It was contended by the state that the company has not obtained environmental clearance by submitting EIA/EMP to the authority. On June 22, 2012, the single judge of the court allowed the petition filed by the company, wherein it had challenged the show cause notice issued to it by the state. While allowing the petition of the company, the single judge of the court, Justice Rajiv Sharma, observed, “The governance is a continuous process. There should be certainty and consistency in the policy matters taken by the state government. The decision of one government relating to governance of a state or its execution would bind the successor government when it does not involve any political philosophy and the successor government must complete the unfinished job”. However, while quashing the notice issued by the state, the single judge of the court had directed the company to obtain the necessary clearances, including environmental clearance from all authorities concerned within a period of six months. Feeling aggrieved over the judgement of the single judge, the BJP-led government challenged the same before the division Bench of the court by filing an appeal. The same was today withdrawn by the state.

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