The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a plea seeking the court’s intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath as a national disaster.
According to the cause list of January 16 uploaded on the apex court website, a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala would hear the petition filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati.
Joshimath, the gateway to famous pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and international skiing destination Auli, is facing a major challenge due to land subsidence.
Joshimath is sinking gradually with huge cracks developing in houses, on roads and fields. Many houses have tilted and are sinking, locals said.
On January 10, the top court had refused urgent hearing of the plea, saying there are “democratically elected institutions” to deal with the situation and all important matters should not come to it.
It had listed Saraswati’s plea for hearing on January 16.
“Everything important need not come to us. There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. We will list it on January 16,” the CJI had said, after the counsel appearing for the petitioner had mentioned the plea and sought its urgent listing.
The petitioner has contended that the incident has occurred due to large-scale industrialisation and sought immediate financial assistance and compensation to the people of Uttarakhand.
The plea has also sought direction to the National Disaster Management Authority to actively support the residents of Joshimath in these challenging times.
“No development is needed at the cost of human life and their ecosystem and if any such thing is to happen, then it is the duty of the State and Union government to stop the same immediately at war level,” the plea by the Seer said.
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