The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on January 16 a plea seeking the court’s intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath as a national disaster.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha, however, refused to list the plea, filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, for urgent hearing saying everything important should not come to it directly. The court said that this after the lawyer appearing for the petitioner mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing.
CJI said that “There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. Everything important should not come to us. We will list it on January 16.”
The plea was mentioned by advocate Parmeshwar Nath Mishra, appearing for Swami Saraswati.
Saraswati has claimed 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 this challenging time.
The plea of the Seer said that “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.”
Land subsidence is posing a significant problem for Joshimath, the entry point to well-known pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib as well as the popular international skiing resort Auli. Huge cracks are appearing in the fields, houses, and roads of Joshimath as it gradually sinks. Locals claim that many homes have experienced subsidence.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered immediate evacuation of 600 families living in houses at risk.