Executive Lacks Will Power To Clean Dal Lake: HC

SRINAGAR — Observing that there is lack of will power on the part of the executive to take effective measures to clean the Dal Lake, the Jammu and Kashmir high court has directed government to provide in tabular form the directions issued by it since 2002 and the stage of their implementation. 

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Acting Chief Alok Aradhe and Justice H M Hanjura also directed the government to give the time frame within which the directions shall be carried out and the future course of action which has to be taken in the matter. 

The court observed that on April 25, it had directed the Cabinet to take a decision in the light or recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee as well as the State Level Monitoring Committee. 

When the matter was taken up, Advocate General submitted that the concerned Minister duly accompanied by the experts shall visit the Dal Lake during the course of the week and Cabinet shall take a decision in the matter preferably within a period of three weeks, the court observed. 

“This writ petition is pending before this Court since 2002 and 16 years have passed. However, the progress made for de-weeding of the lake as well as removal of encroachment and to prevent pollution has been far from satisfactory. It is pertinent to note that despite constitution of the State level Monitoring Committee of which Amicus Curiae is also a member and the aforesaid Committee is required to submit the recommendations per month. Unfortunately, no progress has been made.”

 This shows lack of will power on the part of the executive to take effective measures to clean the Dal Lake, the court said. “Though the equipment for cleaning the Dal Lake were to be procured by the month of March, yet till today, nothing in the matter has been done. Though, the draft of the proposed legislation is with the State Government for the past about one year, yet no action has been taken to finalize it,” the court said. Taking into account the fact that this writ petition is pending before this Court for past 16 years in which effective measures are yet to be taken, clean the water body, namely, the Dal Lake, the court deeded appropriate to direct the parties to submit the details in tabular form. 

“Let the aforesaid tabular chart be filed on behalf of the petitioner as well as on behalf of the respondents within a period of four weeks from today,” the court said, adding, “ This direction is being issued to fix the responsibility of the concerned individual/authority so as to ensure this Court to pass effective orders in the matter so that this Court can see a change at the ground instead of holding the meetings inside the offices.” 

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