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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Plea says expert advice on preventing landslides ignored, HC notice to Centre, state and NHAI

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition filed by Namita Maniktala that was taken up by the court as a PIL.

Written by Om Prakash Thakur | Shimla |
Updated: September 11, 2021 12:09:31 pm
Kangra: Restoration work underway at village Boh after a landslide triggered by a cloudburst, in Kangra district, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Himachal Pradesh High Court has issued notices to Center, state and the NHAI in a matter seeking directions for necessary steps for preventing frequent landslides along national highways in Himachal. The parties have been asked to file reply within four weeks.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition filed by Namita Maniktala that was taken up by the court as a PIL.

The petitioner has said that many areas of Himachal having fragile geologies are prone to landslides and almost every year, the state witnesses massive landslides that causes loss of lives and property. She has claimed that experts have recommended some remedial measures to prevent landslides in various reports, but state and NHAI authorities are not taking into account these suggestions, while undertaking massive developmental projects in HP, especially highways involving large scale excavation of hills.

The petitioner has prayed to direct the state to inform the court about the implementation of the measures suggested by the experts in the aforesaid reports and to engage the services of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, which is the leading expert institution in the field to conduct study on all such landslide vulnerable zones and suggest the measures to be taken for preventing such landslides.

She has also prayed that the state may be directed to install Landslides Predicting Devices as developed by IIT, Mandi and other such similar devices in landslide prone areas. She further asked that NHAI and HP PWD may be directed to implement all measures suggested by experts for prevention of landslides. The court directed the respondents to file a reply by next date.

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