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SC panel head cites hyperlink between Char Dham street widening, Uttarakhand floods | India Information – Instances of India

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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday knowledgeable the Supreme Court that there isn’t any connection between the ‘Chardham’ road widening and the flash floods final week which claimed many lives in Uttarakhand.
Legal professional Common KK Venugopal, showing for the defence ministry, contended earlier than a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman that he wants a while to answer the allegations made by the chief of an skilled committee appointed by the highest court docket citing the connection.
Venugopal submitted the letter from the chairman of the Excessive-Powered Committee (HPC) that claims there’s a hyperlink between the street widening and the Uttarakhand catastrophe. “However in accordance with us, there isn’t any such connection. We wish to reply to the allegations and wish time,” stated Venugopal earlier than the bench additionally comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and B.R. Gavai.
Ravi Chopra, chairman of HPC, in a letter dated February 13 to the highest court docket, had stated the current catastrophe within the Rishiganga valley came about within the area north of the Foremost Central Thrust (MCT), which is very vulnerable to landslides, flash floods and earthquakes.
“A bit of the defence street to the India-China border and a bridge throughout the Rishiganga river on that street have been swept away, lending credence to our argument for catastrophe resilience within the area,” stated the letter.
He added that he was compelled to jot down this letter to the Supreme Court docket within the mild of the current dam catastrophe in Uttarakhand’s Chardham area.
Chopra within the letter added: “I’m advised that after the current tragedy, the native residents are grateful for the Supreme Court docket’s order of 2014 staying the 24 proposed initiatives. Had that keep not been given, three extra beneath development initiatives simply upstream and downstream of the Rishiganga HEP would have manifold magnified the lethal flood affect.”
Chopra added that the vulnerability and catastrophe proneness of this area is sure to extend with in depth disturbances like deforestation, slope slicing, blasting, tunnelling, damming of rivers, extreme tourism, and many others. “The cumulative affect of such actions on the close by glaciers can’t be ignored,” stated the letter.
On February 7, a glacier burst within the higher Himalayas led to huge flash floods within the Alakananda-Dhauliganga river programs in Uttarakhand, which led to deaths of over 50 folks, with round 150 nonetheless lacking.
The highest court-appointed panel is monitoring the 900-kilometre Chardham highway project which goals to attach 4 Hindu holy cities of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath in Uttarakhand. The mission can also be deemed strategically vital within the backdrop of the current India-China army standoff on the LAC.
Chopra stated the report submitted by him and two members strongly argued that catastrophe resilience is extra vital than merely broad highways. “A number of persistent landslide-prone places and stretches, the place the slope stability is precarious, exist on the three Chardham highways recognized by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as defence feeder roads. MoRTH knowledge submitted to the HPC have recognized 161 delicate places in 574 kms (on NH-94 Rishikesh to Uttarkashi, NH-58 Rishikesh to Mana and NH-125 Tanakpur to Pithoragarh), about one location each 3.5 km,” stated the letter.
Chopra added that no convincing argument exists within the current affidavit of the MoD to disregard and override the profound and irreversible ecological harm to the Himalayas that may affect each one in every of us and generations to come back. The highest court docket has granted two weeks to the federal government to provide you with a response.
Final yr, the Supreme Court docket ordered that the freeway mission, which was deliberate as a 10-metre broad street, can solely be 5.5 metres broad. The defence ministry moved the highest court docket citing necessity of street widening for swift motion of armed forces and their gear alongside the India-China border and it’ll additionally guarantee higher facilities for the locals. Of the 26 members of the court-appointed panel, 21 favoured street widening.

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