A public interest litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking constitution of a high powered joint committee under the chairmanship of a retired High Court judge and representatives of all relevant ministries seeking inspection of Uttarakhand’s Joshimath area affected due to climate and infrastructural changes. The plea also seeks rehabilitation of the residents.
Moved by a Delhi based lawyer Rohit Dandriyal who is also a permanent resident of Uttarakhand’s Pauri district, the plea states that nearly 500 families living in Joshimath are either risking their lives by still living in their houses or are looking for accommodation at other places in cold weather conditions.
“More than 3,000 people are affected, said the municipality chief. That's over 10 per cent of the population,” the plea states.
It is the petitioner’s case that he wrote a representation on January 6 to the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Home Affairs and Power, New & Renewable Energy, requesting them to constitute the said committee, in view of the construction of Vishnuprayag hydro electric plant project and national highway.
The plea states that the said construction activity in Joshimath in the past years violated the fundament rights of the residents.
“In one of the strangest phenomenon to strike the holy town nestled in the serene hills of Chamoli at a height of 6,000 ft, houses started developing cracks and damages since 2021, leaving residents anxious and worried. Since the first reports of the cracks in 2021 after landslides in Chamoli, over 570 houses have sustained damages or cracks as residents experienced seismic tremors repeatedly in the subsequent years,” the plea adds.