Encroachment Of Wetlands: NGT Directs Constitution Of Panel

SRINAGAR — New Delhi based National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come to the rescue of J&K wetlands by taking cognizance of a petition filed by noted RTI Activist Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat.

NGT in its order has directed for constitution of a joint committee of J&K Pollution Control Board (PCB), Wildlife Department and Deputy Commissioners of Budgam, Bandipora and Pulwama to look into illegal encroachments and dumping of municipal solid waste in Wullar, Hokersar and Kreentcu Chandhara wetlands in Pampore. 

The NGT ‘s three member Principal bench headed by Justice A K Goel issued the notice on Tuesday after a petition was filed by Dr Raja Muzaffar through his counsel Advocate Rahul Chowdhary. Counsel of the petitioner in his petition prayed before the NGT that authorities be commanded to stop illegal encroachment of Hokersar, Wullar and Kreechu Chandhara wetlands. Counsel argued before the three member bench that Srinagar and Bandipora municipal authorities were dumping municipal solid waste in Wullar and Hokersar wetlands respectively. In addition full bench of NGT was apprized that Kreenchu Chandhara wetland in Pampore was being earth filled at many places on National Highway at Gallander (NH 44) where an irrigation canal was converted into a road and authorities were mute spectators to this illegal activity. 

“In Bandipora area Municipal Committee Bandipora was dumping municipal solid waste in Wullar lake at Nussu Zalwan area and Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) was mute spectator to this illegal activity in-spite of providing 1.30 crore rupees to the municipality for scientific waste disposal several years back. In Hokersar solid waste is being lifted from HMT and Parimpora fruit mandi and dumped in Hokersar around Haji Bagh area on Soibugh road in Budgam. In Pampore Kreenchu Chandhara wetland was being earth filled by land mafia and a road was created by filling up an irrigation canal” said Dr Raja Muzaffar. 

NGT principal bench has sought the report from PCB, Wildlife department and Deputy Commissioners within 2 months of time.

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