The principal bench of NGT in the case Shailendra Kumar Yadav v. State of H.P. observed and has constituted a joint committee for submitting a factual and action-taken report on the declining snowfall in Kufri, Himachal Pradesh.
The bench comprising of Judicial Member, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and the Expert Member, Dr. A. Senthil Vel stated that a serious environmental issue has been raised, wherein it requires the attention of the Tribunal.
Advocate Shailendra Kumar Yadav filed the letter position, wherein highlighting the issue of environmental destruction in Kufri.
It has been submitted by the petitioner before the court that due to the negligent attitude of state authorities, the rising number of horses, and other local reasons, the snowfall in Kufri has been continuously declined for the last two decades. As a consequence of which the water resources are drying up, and Shimla town itself remained devoid of any snow for most of the winter season.
The court after taking a note of the plea, the Tribunal stated that substantial environmental questions which relates to the implementation of Scheduled Enactments under NGT Act, 2010 arise.
Further, the Tribunal while proceeding further in the matter found it appropriate to obtain a factual report. Hence, a joint committee has been constituted, wherein comprising of Divisional Forest Officer, Shimla, Regional Officer, MoEF&CC, Chandigarh, State PCB, and District Magistrate, Shimla, who will visit the site and to submit a factual report, including any actions which are to be taken within two months.
It has also been informed by the applicant to the NGT that an uncontrolled movement of horses has irreparably damaged flora and fauna of this eco-system. It has also damaged food chain in the area. Thus, the continuous plying of horses has severely damaged beautiful forest trail and causing further damage to tree roots and the local administration has made available a huge area as parking area for horses which being in the prohibited area of forest. Therefore, after the days plying, the owners of these horses let the horses into the adjoining forests causing severe damage to deodar tree roots along with flora and fauna therein. Hence, one will be able to see the naked tree roots and the drying trees and shrubs with heaps of stinking horse dung all over the area.
Accordingly, the court listed the matter to be next heard on May 25.