Home Uttarakhand HC issues notices to Haridwar, Nainital DMs over contempt petition

HC issues notices to Haridwar, Nainital DMs over contempt petition

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By Our Staff Reporter

Nainital, 19 Mar: The Uttarakhand High Court today heard a contempt petition filed regarding non-compliance of its earlier order. Hearing the case, the single bench of Justice Pankaj Purohit issued contempt notices to the district magistrates of Nainital and Haridwar and instructed them to submit their replies within four weeks.

It is worth noting that a resident of Haldwani’s Chorgalia, Bhuwan Chandra Pokharia has filed a contempt petition pointing out that the rivers in Uttarakhand remain in spate during the rainy season resulting in occurrence of floods due to blockage of river mouths. This leads to waterlogging in inhabited areas for long periods. Not only this, the petition also points out that due to overflowing rivers, thousands of hectares of forest land, trees and government schemes are washed away every monsoon season. The petitioner has claimed that this is due to negligence of the district authorities since no work has been done towards channelisation of the rivers. In absence of channelisation, the rivers, when in spate, get diverted towards residential areas and flood them. The petitioner has claimed that the situation gets worse in Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar, Haldwani, Ramnagar, Roorkee and Dehradun. Last year, many bridges were washed away due to floods.

Blaming the government for this, the petitioner claimed that the government has not removed the silt, boulders and debris accumulated at the mouths of the rivers. Accusing the government of contempt of court, Pokharia stated that the government did not follow the High Court order dated 14 February, 2023, and as a result, the floods continue to occur and cause damage in residential areas and agriculture farms.

It was also claimed in the petition that the Uttarakhand Government has suffered a loss of over Rs 1,000 crores due to the flood disasters. The petition seeks clear instructions from the High Court to the state government to remove silt, debris and boulders from the rivers and to take up river channelisation so that the water of the rivers can flow without interruption during the rainy season. Pointing out that the next monsoon season is only a few months away, he asserts the government needs to take up flood control measures.

The present District Magistrates of Nainital and Haridwar have been made parties by him in the contempt petition. His case was argued by himself. After hearing the arguments of the petitioner, the Court issued notices to the DM, Haridwar, and DM, Nainital, seeking their response in four weeks’ time.