SRINAGAR The J&K high court on Friday asked officials to place before it photographic evidence of toilets removed on either sides of river Jhelum.
The direction followed after the PHE counsel submitted that all the toilets and latrines situated on river banks have been demolished. The Court has also directed that the new toilets be constructed at a feasible location.
The respondents have given the details of some of the public toilets in a tabulation form which are on the banks of River Jehlum, which according to the respondents have been demolished. This tabulation, however, does not give the number of toilets which were in existence; how many remain to be demolished and also the status of malba (debris), the court said, adding, In view thereof, the respondents shall file in a tabulation form the list of toilets which stood constructed along the banks of River Jehlum; the details of the toilets which have been demolished; the details of toilets which are still in existence. The respondents, the court said, shall also file photographs of the toilet sites after the demolition and removal of the malba (debris).
In addition, it is imperative that the respondents ensure availability of insufficient number of toilets in order to mitigate the problems of the general public, the court said and directed the Irrigation and Flood Control Department to place before it the details of the toilets which are proposed to be constructed giving their location in order to replace those which have been demolished in order to prevent contamination of the River Jehlum. Such status report shall be filed within four weeks, the court said.
During one of the hearings, the Court also imposed penalty of Rs 5000 each on department of Horticulture, Floriculture, Fisheries, Pollution Control Board, Health Department as well as Geology and Mining for not following the court directions.
These department were later directed to submit status reports indicating the number and locations of all the toilets/latrines which have been identified on the banks of all nallas, rivers, streams and tributaries which are source of drinking water for consumption of the inhabitants.