Need for parks,green-space in Srinagar:HC treats SHRC chiefs letter as PIL

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday sought a response from government to a letter by former chief justice and incumbent chairperson of State Human Rights Commission regarding need for earmarking areas for parks and green space in Srinagar city. Treating the letter, written by Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki to the present Chief Justice as a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of the high court arrayed Commissioner Secretaries of tourism and Housing & Urban Development Department, Director Floriculture, deputy commissioner Srinagar, VC SDA and commissioner SMC as respondents to the PIL and sought their response within three weeks.

The letter has highlighted complete lack of parks and green spaces in this summer capital of the state and drew the attention of the court to need for identifying and earmarking area in each locality of Srinagar for development of a park/green space/urban forest and set a time line within which such work is undertaken and completed by authorities.

It calls for Identifying encroachments of earmarked conservations zones for parks/green spaces and forthwith clearance of such encroachments.

The letter calls for avoiding “at all costs”, permissions for conversion of land use from conservation zone reserved for parks, green spaces or urban forest to residential or commercial etsablishments.

“The issues by the former chief justice in his letter are very important to each and every resident of the cities of Srinagar and Jammu. The State Government, it appears has ignored the pertinent issues raised by a dignitary of the status of former Chief Justice, which is clear from the facts that the government has not even care to respond to the communication of the high court,” observed a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey before seeking the response from officials arrayed as respondents in the PIL.

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