Breaking News Uttrakhand HC Court directs authorities to find permanent solution...

Uttrakhand HC Court directs authorities to find permanent solution for areas prone to landslides

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Dehradun, Nov 8 (ILNS) The Uttarakhand High Court recently (October 27), observed that despite the report submitted by the Committee, no concrete action has been taken on its recommendations by the respondents to find out permanent solutions to the problem being faced by the Baliyanala area of Nainital city.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Narayan Singh Dhanik heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Sayed Nadim Khurshid seeks directions to the respondents for preservation and conservation of the Hill Area adjacent to Baliyanala leading to the Jeolikote.

According to the petitioner, the Baliyanala area is a highly sensitive area of Nainital city. It is prone to landslides, thereby risking human life. In 1880, there was a massive landslide which had caused the death of over 100 people. Therefore, it is imperative that the Baliyanala area be fortified so as to prevent the occurrence of landslides in future.

By an order passed on September 26, 2018, a coordinate Bench had constituted a High Power Committee consisting of The Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, The Director/Additional Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Senior-most Professor (Civil Engineering) of Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, The Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, State of Uttarakhand, and The Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, State of Uttarakhand.

The Committee was directed to meet on or before October 12, 2018, in order to find out permanent solutions to the problem being faced by the Baliyanala area of Nainital city.

In accordance with the September 26, 2018 order, the Committee had submitted its report before the Government on November 20, 2018. In its report, the Committee had recommended certain remedial measures, both short term and long term.

According to the report, the remedial measures were Drainage Measure in the Catchment, Toe Protection, Treatment of initiation zone at the crown, Drainage Measure on Landslide Body, and Treatment through mechanical and bioengineering measures. The short term measures included evacuation and relocation of people, realignment of existing minor drains towards the main watercourse of Baliyanala since the water was oozing out from the lithological contact of dolomitic limestone and slates.

Moreover, sources of spring water in the hillock are required to be identified. Furthermore, the planting of trees and shrubs will control and prevent further land erosion and landslide.

“However, despite the report submitted by the Committee, it seems that no concrete action has been taken on its recommendations by the respondents”, the Court observed.

The Court directed the  Chief Standing Counsel to file a supplementary affidavit clearly revealing steps taken by them for implementing the recommendations made by the Committee in its report.

The Court granted two weeks’ time to file the said affidavit while posting the matter on November 17, 2021 for further hearing./ILNS/SS/SNG/

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