HC orders finalization of DPRs for conservation of Anchaar, Khushaalsar lakes


Srinaga—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed authorities to remove all illegal constructions from the areas which “ought to have been Dal lake”, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed finalization of detailed project reports regarding conservation of Anchaar, Gilsar and Khushaalsar, the water bodies which are virtually on the brink of extinction.

As the hearing of the PIL, filed in 2002 by a then law student Syed Tahir Iqbal for preservation and conservation of the Dal Lake, a power point presentation of pictures and videos, showing illegal structures on parts of the water body, was played before the division bench in the open court.

After seeing the pictures, the court observed that it prima facie appears that various constructions have come up in the areas which ought to have been part of the lake but have been encroached upon.

The division bench underlined that all these illegal structures are liable to be removed in tune with the court directions passed from time to time.

In this regard, the court said if the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) require any kind of police assistance that shall be provided by the concerned Superintendent of Police.

The video and photographs were taken by advocate Sajad Ahmad Mir, who assists amicus curie and senior advocate Z A Shah. Advocate Mir informed the court that these pictures and videos were shot by him in presence of Superintending Engineer and Enforcement Officer of LAWDA. He said that about 25 fresh concrete structures alone have come up inside the lake from Hazratbal towards Ashai-Bagh.

Besides, he submitted hundreds of Kanals land has been created out of water mass apart from number of colonies inside the lake.

The court told the vice chairman LAWDA that he should have taken measures on his own to remove the illegal structures without waiting for court orders.

“If you don’t do it, then court will proceed against you and will take its own course,” the court said and observed that the lake was being spoiled and it needs immediate treatment.

“We may also visit the lake any time and if things are not good, then be ready for action,” the court told the VC.

It also emphasized on need for removing of weeds as well as water lilies from the lake and asked for water sampling on the basis of new norms.

The court directed finalization of detailed project reports (DPRs) with regard to conservation of Anchaar, Gilsar and Khushaalsar.

Nestled between Hawal and Zadibal areas, Gilsar and Khushalsar are two interconnected lakes which receive waters from Dal Lake. Both gradually flow into Anchar which in itself is connected with the Dal Lake through a waterway called Nallah Aamir Khan.

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