THE UTTARAKHAND HIGH COURT HAS IMPOSED AN IMMEDIATE STAY ON THE CONSTRUCTION AND BLASTING OF ALL ONGOING HYDROPOWER PROJECTS IN THE JOSHIMATH AREA, AND HAS GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY BY UNBIASED EXPERTS.
The honourable High Court of Uttarakhand today heard the interim relief application in an ongoing PIL filed after the incidents of 7th February, 2021 Glacial Lake outburst which turned into a flash flood and struck down two HEP namely Rishiganga Hydro Electric Power Project and NTPC’s Vishnugad Tapovan Hydropower Project which claimed life of 204 people.
The petitioner who is the social, political and Chipko Movement Activist, P C Tewari, President of Uttarakhand Parivartan Party, had filed this petition seeking formation of an independent committee to analyse the impact or HEPs in upper reaches of the rivers as well as for the stay in construction of all under construction hydro power projects, till early warning systems are put in place along side of many other prayers. The Hon’ble High Court has issued very important directions with regards to land subsidence in Joshimath.
Advocate Snigdha Tiwari, informed the honourable courts that more than 700 houses have been affected due to landslides and fissures in Joshimath., and that it is having a very serious ramification on the city which has a population of about 23,000. Giving voice to the suffering of the people there, it was argued on behalf of advocate Snigdha Tiwari that in the year 1976 itself, in the report of the Mishra Committee, it had become clear that Joshimath city is a city built in the area of landslides i.e. sands and stones which have been accumulated and settled over the years, and there is no main rock. Hence the town is ecological very fragile.
Despite the same, again in 2010, it was warned by experts that big hydroelectric projects should not be operated in and around Joshimath area, but several such articles, reports and voices of the experts, activities landed in deaf ears and at present the consequences of the same is in front of everyone.