HC Seeks Response on developing parks, green space in Srinagar 

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir has directed Srinagar Development Authority and others authorities to file response within two weeks 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.   

“We are informed by the Advocate General that an affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Director, Floriculture Department on 1 September 2017. That is not on record as yet. The Registry shall place it on record so that we can examine it. The SDA and the others concerned shall also file their responses before the next date of hearing,” Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said and re-notified the PIL on September 21.

Treating the letter, written by Justice (retd) Bilal Naski to the present Chief Justice as a Public Interest Litigation, the division bench had 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.

The letter highlights 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,” the court had observed.  

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