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Chamoli Disaster: Uttarakhand High Court Directs DM To Ensure Food, Medicine & Accommodation For Affected Families On War Footing

Shrutika Pandey
13 Aug 2021 5:00 AM GMT
Chamoli Disaster: Uttarakhand High Court Directs DM To Ensure Food, Medicine & Accommodation For Affected Families On War Footing
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The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the District Magistrate, Chamoli, to ensure that requisite food, medicines, reasonable accommodation and medical attention, are provided to the families who have lost their bread earner in the Chamoli Glacier Disaster.A glacial outbreak in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on February 7, 2021, caused massive damage to life and property. This...

The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the District Magistrate, Chamoli, to ensure that requisite food, medicines, reasonable accommodation and medical attention, are provided to the families who have lost their bread earner in the Chamoli Glacier Disaster.

A glacial outbreak in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on February 7, 2021, caused massive damage to life and property. This disaster occurred due to a break in a glacier, leading to landslides and floods in the region. The Court was hearing a petition where it is alleged that due to the unfortunate disaster at Chamoli, about 204 persons, who were working at the Dam site when the disaster struck, have gone missing. However, most of their families are yet to receive any relief from the State and the Central Government.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma directed,

"It shall be the responsibility of the District Magistrate, Chamoli, the respondent no. 6, to ensure that requisite food, the required medicines, and a reasonable accommodation are provided to the families on war footing. In case these families require any medical treatment, the same shall be extended by the respondent no. 6."

Earlier, the Court had inquired if any interim compensation has been granted to the affected families, whose houses were uprooted in the disaster.

Accordingly, Deputy Advocate General SS Chauhan for the State, submitted that out of 204 missing persons, families of 122 have already been granted relief by the State, and families of two persons are yet to be paid their rightful compensation. The remaining number of persons have been classified into three categories, namely: (i) those who are the residents of the site or the neighboring areas; (ii) persons who are residents of other districts of Uttarakhand, who were working at the site; and (iii) those who were either the residents of other States of the country or were tourists, who were at the site when the disaster struck.

The Court directed DAG Chauhan to inform the Court concerning the relief given to 124 families of those missing. He was also directed to inform the Court about time required by the State to disburse the relief to the remaining families.

Advocate Singhda Tiwari, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that due to the delay in disbursement of relief to the families, many families continue to struggle with their daily existence. Seeking directions to the District Magistrate to take of the needs of food, medicine and accommodation, she submitted,

"Left without food, left without medicines, and left without any reasonable accommodation, they continue to starve every day."

She further submitted that certain Committees had been constituted after the disaster occurred. However, the reports of these Committees have not been placed before this Court.

"The respondents, who have yet to file their objections, are directed to record the recommendations of any Committee, which may be studying or examining the disaster. The said Committee Reports shall be filed along with the objections," the Court ordered.

Case Title: PC Tewari v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.

Click Here To Download The Order 

Edited by Akshita Saxena

Read The Order 


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