The Supreme Court on Monday granted four more weeks to the Centre to file its response to a plea seeking assessment of the carrying capacity and master plans of the Indian Himalayan Region spanning across 13 states and union territories.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha, which had issued notices to the government on February 17, took note of the submission of Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati who sought time to file the reply.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by Ashok Kumar Raghav seeking assessment of carrying capacity and master plans prepared for the Indian Himalayan Region.
“Due to non-existent Carrying/Bearing Capacity studies, grave geological hazards in the form of landslides, land subsidence, land cracking and sinking issues such as that in Joshimath are being witnessed and serious ecological and environmental depredation are taking place in the hills,” the petition filed through advocate advocate Akash Vashishtha said.
“Almost all hill stations, pilgrimage places and other tourism destinations spread over the Dhauladhar Circuit, Satluj Circuit, Beas Circuit and Tribal Circuit in Himachal Pradesh also remain hugely burdened and are almost on the brink of collapse with no carrying capacities assessed for any of the places in the state,” the petition stated.
Carrying capacity is the maximum population size that an ecosystem can sustain without degrading the ecosystem.