Order of the National Green Tribunal on constructions taking place in Mussoorie damaging the environment, 31/01/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re : News item published in The Tribune dated 16.01.2023 titled “Joshimath disaster a warning for Mussoorie” dated 31/01/2023.

Proceedings were initiated in the matter suo motu in view of the media report to the effect that Joshimath disaster has led to displacement of number of inhabitants and damage to properties. Further sinking of the earth surface was reported due to displacement of sub surface material. This is on account of excessive unplanned constructions beyond carrying capacity and this must act as a warning for Mussoorie - where unplanned constructions are taking place.

The application informed the court that Mussoorie's carrying capacity was studied by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in 2001. LBSNAA has suggested that no further constructions are viable.

The NGT directed that a study be done on the carrying capacity of Mussoorie and the study needs to cover as to how much construction can be allowed and with what safeguards. What safeguards be used for existing buildings and all other relevant and associated aspects including vehicular traffic, sanitation management, maintaining ecological integrity in terms of soil stability and flora/fauna. For this purpose, the court directed the constitution of a nine member joint committee to be headed by the Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand.

The role of the committee will be to 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".The committee has been asked to submit its report within two months.