SC asks Centre to do Environment impact assessment on flow of river in Himachal
New Delhi: Three days after the Uttarakhand disaster, in which a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system, the Supreme Court on Wednesday adopted a cautious approach and asked union environment ministry to do an impact assessment on removal of boulders from the river bed system in Himachal Pradesh.
The top court asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to assess the impact of removal of boulders from the river bed system in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh and how it will affect the flow of rivers including its tributaries.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian observed that removal of sand and stones from the river bed has created problems in Kerala, which has witnessed massive floods a couple of years back.
It is a well known fact that stones and boulders have a direct impact on the flow of rivers. We find it imperative to direct the MoEFCC to do an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed site and specifically make a report whether it will have an adverse impact on the flow of the river, the bench said.
The top court directed that the cost of EIA shall be borne by a company Paras Stone Crusher, who sought court's nod to carry on its business and collect boulders falling in the river bed from nearby forest areas in Kullu district of the state.