Conduct ‘holistic’ study on Mussoorie, says NGT in view Joshimath disaster

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a study of the hill station of Mussoorie and formed a nine-member committee to suggest remedial measures for preventing environmental damage.

The Principal Bench of the NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel formed a nine-member joint committee headed by the Uttarakhand chief secretary.

The Bench was hearing a matter where it had initiated suo motu proceedings following a media report that the recent Joshimath disaster was a warning for Mussoorie where unplanned constructions continued.

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“Such a study may cover as to how much constructions can be allowed and what safeguards may be used for existing buildings and all other relevant aspects including vehicular traffic, sanitation management, maintaining ecological integrity in terms of soil stability and flora/fauna,” the Bench said.

The Bench also said that a holistic study of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive areas in the Himalayan regions was imperative for protection of the environment.

“The committee may suggest remedial measures to prevent environmental damage in the light of carrying capacity, hydro-geology studies, geo-morphological studies and also covering other allied and incidental issues,” it added.

The green panel has also directed the committee to complete its study within two months and furnish a report by April 30.

The tribunal pointed out that the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, which studied Mussoorie’s carrying capacity in 2001, suggested that no further constructions were viable.

The Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority, however, reportedly failed to go by the study and take preventive and remedial measures, it noted.