Uttarakhand HC Questions State's Commitment To Uncover Joshimath Sinking Cause


The Uttarakhand High Court has criticized the State government's lack of seriousness in investigating the causes behind the land sinking issue in Joshimath. The Court observed that authorities had not engaged experts from various fields to conduct a study on the geological activity in the area, contrary to a previous court order. The Court expressed its concern, stating, "We get the expression that the State is not serious about unearthing the real causes for land subsidence."

To address the situation and prevent future incidents, the Court emphasized the need for a comprehensive study. The Court had previously ordered a ban on construction in Joshimath and instructed the State to consult experts to assess the situation and recommend salvage measures.

While the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology was tasked with conducting the study, the Court had also suggested involving independent experts in fields such as hydrology, geology, glaciology, disaster management, and geomorphology. However, as of May 22, 2023, independent experts had not been engaged in the study, leading to the Court summoning the Chief Secretary of the State government to appear on September 22, 2023.

This development follows landslides and cracks in houses and roads in the Joshimath area, prompting concerns about land subsidence. The issue initially arose in a public interest litigation related to flooding from hydroelectric power projects caused by a glacier burst in 2021. The Court's strong stance underscores the urgency of addressing the situation effectively.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University