Everything important need not come to us’: SC declines urgent hearing of Joshimath ‘sinking’ issue

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (January 10, 2023) declined urgent hearing of the Joshimath "sinking" crisis and posted the matter for hearing on January 16. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said that "everything which is important need not come to the apex court". "There are democratically elected institutions working on it," the SC said.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha was hearing a petition by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati who sought Supreme Court's intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand's Joshimath town as a national disaster.

The SC was hearing a petition by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati who sought the top court's intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand's Joshimath town as a national disaster. Saraswati has contended that the incident occurred due to large-scale industrialisation and sought immediate financial assistance and compensation to the people of Uttarakhand. His plea has also sought direction to the National Disaster Management Authority to actively support the residents of Joshimath in this challenging time. "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 at war level," the Seer said. Joshimath, which is a part of the Chamoli district, is the gateway to the famous pilgrimage site Badrinath and the international skiing destination Auli. The town is currently facing a major challenge due to land subsidence and is sinking gradually with huge cracks developing in houses, roads, and fields there.

Meanwhile, the number of subsidence-affected homes in Joshimath rose to 678 while 27 more families were evacuated to safety, a bulletin from the Disaster Management Authority in Chamoli said, adding so far 82 families have been shifted to safe locations in the town. Earlier last week, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the town to assess the situation on the ground and met the local people. He also held discussions with a team of officials and experts who have been camping in the town since last Thursday and took their feedback on the evacuation exercise. "Evacuating affected families is the government's priority for now. We are also working on a long-term rehabilitation strategy," Dhami told reporters after visiting houses in which huge cracks have appeared on the walls and ceilings.