New Delhi: The Supreme Court today 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 PS Narasimha, however, refused to list the plea, filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, for urgent hearing saying everything important should not come to it directly.
‘There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. Everything important should not come to us. We will list it on January 16’, the Chief Justice of India said. The plea was mentioned by advocate Parmeshwar Nath Mishra, appearing for Swami Saraswati. Swami Saraswati 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 this challenging time. ‘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 of the Seer said.
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, roads and fields there. Many houses have suffered subsidence, locals said. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered immediate evacuation of 600 families living in houses at risk.