Fix carrying capacity of hill stations, Centre too says

NEW DELHI: Supporting a plea for fixing carrying capacity of hill stations, including cities and eco sensitive zones, in all 13


states, the Centre has told the

Supreme Court

that those states be directed to carry out the study and file their reports before the court.
Responding to a


seeking to put a cap on people visiting overcrowded hill stations in Uttarakhand, Himachal and other Himalayan states which recently witnessed a slew of deadly landslides and disasters, the Centre proposed the court to set up a 14-member high-power technical committee under the director of G B Pant National


of Himalayan Environment. The panel of experts on environment, hydrology, ecology and climate studies would evaluate the reports prepared by states and would assist the court in deciding the issue.
The ministry of environment forest and climate change said in its affidavit that it had in the past circulated guidelines for assessing carrying capacity of hill stations including cities and eco-sensitive zones to all 13 Himalayan states vide letter dated January 31, 2020 and has also sent a reminder to request the states to conduct a study and submit the action plan so that carrying capacity can be carried out as early as possible.
It pleaded the court to direct all 13 states to submit an action taken report and an action plan, in a time bound manner for taking steps to carry out the carrying capacity assessment as per guidelines prepared by G B Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment. “Direct all 13 states for the constitution of a committee, in a time bound manner, headed by the Chief Secretary of the respective state and comprising such members as deemed appropriate by the Chief Secretary, for carrying out a multi-disciplinary study as per the guidelines prepared by the Institute,” the affidavit said.

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