Pollution of Water Bodies: High Court Takes Notice

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Asks Govt If There’s Offence Prescribed For Polluting Water, Seeks Details Of Prosecution   

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed government to inform it whether any offences stand prescribed for pollution of “drinking water, waterways, water bodies and the source of water.”  

If there is a statutory regime for the same, a division bench of high court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Alok Aradhe directed the government to file the details of prosecution which have been  initiated and their status by September 24.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation, complaining that funds of over Rs. 45 Crores, disbursed by the State Government for providing safe drinking water to the people living in hilly areas through various Schemes, have been embezzled by the officials of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department and an FIR has been lodged by the Police in this regard.

The Court directed that the government shall, on an excel sheet, disclose the details of the funds which have been received by the PHE Division, Handwara for providing safe drinking water to the people living in hilly areas since 2010.

It also sought details of the Schemes towards which these funds were released, prescribed dates of completion of the Schemes, steps which were actually taken for execution of the Schemes and the dates thereof and breakup of the expenses incurred and disbursed for the works undertaken.

The Court also directed that names of the officials not below the ranks of the Executive Engineers and Chief Engineer responsible for execution of the Schemes concerned.

“The details of the FIR(s) which was registered by the Police and the status thereof,” the court said, adding, “Such reports shall be furnished by an officer of the rank of SSP of the concerned Division.” 

In case Challan has been filed, the court said that a status report shall be submitted with regard to the status of the prosecution and the details of the persons against whom the challan was filed. 

 

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