We don’t want anyone to use these proceedings only for sound bytes for social media, SC said
The Supreme of India (SC) refused to designate the Joshimath land sinking crisis as a national disaster and declined a plea that sought the SC’s intervention.
“We don’t want anyone to use these proceedings only for sound bytes for social media,” the apex court said January 16, 2023.
The court asked the petitioner seeking intervention to approach the Uttarakhand High Court.
“As a matter of principle, we should allow the HC to deal with this. HC is ceased of a broad range of issues, we’ll give you liberty to approach HC,” stated the SC.
A Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice DY Chandrachud was responding to a public interest litigation filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati.
The petitioner emphasised that widespread industrialisation had caused land subsidence and asked for immediate financial support and compensation for those impacted.
“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,” the petitioner added.
The town is facing a significant challenge due to land sinking. Houses are gradually collapsing due to the cracks, which started to show up in late October. The Tapovan-Vishnugad Project and the Helang Bypass Project, both undertaken close to the town, have been blamed for the calamity.
The number of Joshimath houses with cracks increased to 849 as on January 16, out of which 165 are in the “unsafe zone,” according to a statement released by the state government. Some 233 households have already been relocated to temporary relief facilities.
The SC had declined to hear a plea on an urgent basis on January 10, stating that the issue should be resolved by “democratically elected institutions” rather than by it.
“Everything important need not come to us. There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. We will list it on January 16,” the court had said.
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