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NGT asks Uttarakhand to study Mussoorie’s specific carrying capacity

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Disaster Management


Source: The Hindu 

Context: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued directions to the Uttarakhand Government to conduct a study of the specific carrying capacity of the hill station.

  • Also, Last year a panel was formed to assess the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive zones in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)


Key highlights:

  • A nine-member committee has been formed to suggest remedial measures for preventing environmental damage to the town.
  • A study on Mussoorie’s carrying capacity by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in 2001 suggested that no further construction was viable.
  • An analysis of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive areas in Himalayan regions in a holistic manner is necessary for the protection of the environment.
  • Terms of reference for the committee:
    • Suggest remedial measures to prevent environmental damage in the light of carrying capacity
    • Hydro-geology studies
    • Geo-morphological studies
    • Covering other allied and incidental issues.


About Carrying Capacity:

The total number of individuals of a species that can live in an ecosystem under certain conditions.

  • More recently the concept has been expanded beyond ecology by including economic, social, and infrastructure imperatives.
  • Urban Carrying Capacity (UCC): It provides a theoretical foundation for determining the maximum potential population that could be supported without environmental degradation, based on the inherent limitations of a city 


Global Practices on Urban Carrying Capacity:

  • China’s mega-cities demonstrate that the UCC framework can be simplified to quantify and evaluate indicators across sectors and use them appropriately for sustainable urban land management practices. 




Insta Links:



Mains Link:

Define the concept of the carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region. (250 words) UPSC CSE paper GS-3 2017

Land subsidence is a silent disaster that is taking hold of the Himalayan region. Examine the causes behind it, its impact and measures need to prevent this silent disaster. (10M)