The Supreme Court appointed excessive powered committee(HPC) shaped to watch environmental damages on the Char Dham freeway challenge met on Saturday to resolve the ‘future course of action’ of the challenge. The assembly, nonetheless, was held with out its chairman Ravi Chopra’s approval or participation. Some members alleged that holding the assembly confirmed clear interference of the federal government because it was held on course of Uttarakhand chief secretary Om Prakash.

Ravi Chopra, chairperson of the HPC on Friday wrote to Ravinath Raman, the newly appointed member secretary of the committee stating, “… you cannot call any meeting of the HPC without the concurrence of the Chair… As a Member Secretary, you are accountable for the HPC which is an independent body created by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and answerable to the Hon’ble Court only. You have no authority to impose any other’s directions for its functioning… As you have mentioned in your notice that you are calling this meeting ‘as per the directions of the Chief Secretary’ is highly objectionable and a direct infringement in the functioning of the HPC.” A duplicate of the letter is with HT.

The letter additional mentions, “As Member Secretary your duty is to carry out the orders of the Supreme Court and not the Chief Secretary. I have not agreed to your calling the meeting tomorrow (October 17, 2020). The said meeting has no locus. It is without any authority. I request you to withdraw the notice forthwith so that the functioning of the HPC can continue as per Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions.”

On October 15, a letter was issued by Om Prakash, chief secretary of Uttarakhand stating that Raman was appointed because the member secretary of the HPC.

The letter talked about that previously few months since no conferences have been held, the workings of HPC is being hampered and subsequently, the newly appointed member secretary ought to be certain that a gathering of the HPC is performed inside two days.

Speaking on the assembly, Raman stated, “As the matter is sub-judice, I cannot disclose the details of the meeting, but it was mostly about the future course of action regarding the functioning of the HPC.”

Two members of the HPC, Navin Juyal and Hemant Dhyani launched a press release on Saturday in solidarity with the chairperson.

The assertion talked about, “We, the members of the HPC, herein, find the urgency to place a statement with regards to the complete arbitrary way of functioning of the recently appointed Member Secretary. The chairman HPC did not approve the holding of HPC meeting…however, the member secretary went ahead with conducting the meeting which according to us is complete disrespect towards the authority of the HPC and violation of the democratic sanctity of the HPC which has been wilfully attacked and the place of the Chair has been brazenly compromised.”

They additional stated, “We have thus not participated in this meeting and issue this statement in solidarity with the HPC chairman in support and appreciation of his honest and dedicated mission and commitments towards safe and disaster resilient Char Dham Pariyojana with due concerns of the Himalayan environment. We reiterate our stand with him and demand that an independent functioning of the HPC should be restored.”

The HPC really useful that the width of the Char Dham street challenge needs to be 5.5 metres as an alternative of seven.5 meters being constructed by state’s public works division (PWD )to Supreme Court in third week of July 2020. On September 8, the apex courtroom upheld the HPC suggestion and requested NHAI to cut back the width of the street to five.5 for remaining a part of the challenge. Chopra had alleged that PWD had not carried out the SC order. The PWD officers had refused to remark saying they might submit response to the SC.

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