DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand HC, while addressing a PIL over the lack of compliance with the Doon Valley notification for formulation of a tourism development plan within the valley, pulled up the state government on Wednesday. “The Himalayas were formed thousands of years ag but disasters are happening only now… All these disasters are completely man-made,” the division bench comprising Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal said.

The judges also said the state has “completely disregarded the law and wants to commercialise everything”.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer and environmentalist Akash Vashishtha, who sought “enforcement and strict adherence to the Doon Valley Notification (1989) under the Environment (Protection) Act” after recent landslides and subsidence in areas like Dhanaulti and Chamba due to rains.

The Doon Valley region encompasses Dehradun, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar and surrounding areas. The court observed that the “state government had failed to formulate the required tourism development plan in line with the aforementioned notification”. The court asked the Centre to submit an affidavit detailing the status of implementation and adherence to the Doon Valley notification. It issued a directive to the state government, instructing officials to “prepare a comprehensive plan within the next four weeks”. The court thereafter listed the matter for next hearing on October 3.

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