Joshimath crisis: PIL for high power committee, withdraws from Delhi HC

7 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Joshimath National

Delhi High Court permitted the withdrawal of PIL that asked to form a committee to begin investigation.

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court permitted the withdrawal of a public interest litigation (PIL) that asked for instructions to form a committee and to direct representatives of all pertinent ministries to begin investigating this immediately for the affected areas of Joshimath, Uttarakhand, who are involved in rehabilitation of people.

After the State of Uttarakhand, represented by Dy, requested that the PIL filed by attorney Rohit Dandriyal be withdrawn, the panel of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad granted the request. The Supreme Court had on January 16, 2023, ordered a different PIL Petitioner to approach the Uttarakhand High Court because the identical matter was now being heard by a Division Bench in Nainital, according to Advocate General Jatinder Kumar Sethi.

The Uttrakhand government had previously informed the Delhi High Court that the federal and state governments were making every effort to resolve the Joshimath case. The Uttrakhand Government Counsel also provided information on the deployment of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State National Disaster Response Force, which moved several residents and provided specific rehabilitation aid.

Earlier, Uttrakhand’s attorney said that the State and the Center are both involved in the situation. SDRF and NDRF have been put into use. To examine attempts in restoration and mitigation, committees have been established. On the ground, work is being done. We moved those who were impacted.

A practising lawyer who filed the petition, Rohit Rohit Dandriyal, claimed that the town of Joshimath, Uttarakhand’s past construction activity served as a catalyst for the current situation and that by engaging in these activities, the respondents violated the fundamental rights of the residents of Joshimath.

The argument also claimed that the respondent is currently required to behave as a welfare state and is obligated to provide its inhabitants with contemporary, livable housing. It is imperative that the government of India recognise the hardship of the residents of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and take action to give them access to the necessities for a decent living.

The residents of Joshimath, a mountainous town in Uttarakhand, have recently interrupted daily life by taking to the streets to demand action for the cracks that have sprung in their homes.

“In one of the strangest phenomena to strike the holy town nestled in the serene hills of Chamoli at the height of 6,000 feet, 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,” stated the plea.

The Joshimath, often spelled Jyotirmath, is a city and municipal board located in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India. It is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing adventures, hiking paths, and pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and is situated at a height of 6150 feet (1875 m).

“It is home to one of the four cardinal pithas established by Adi Shankara. Since 7 February 2021, the area was severely affected by the 2021 Uttarakhand flood and its aftermath,” the plea further read.