PIL On Wular Lake: No Dumping Ground Established

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Wular Lake – File Photo

Srinagar: Observing that “probably nothing has been done” for establishing dumping ground for the garbage in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has sought an action taken report from authorities.

Hearing a public Interest Litigation regarding dumping of the waste near Sopore, a division bench of Chief Justice Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul observed that the District Legal Services Authority vide its report dated 8 February 2021 had suggested three places for establishing dumping ground for the garbage.

“But probably nothing has been done to establish the dumping ground nor any steps have been taken by the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that the Municipal Corporation works effectively for lifting the garbage,” the court observed.

B. A. Dar, senior AAG, submitted that recently the new Deputy Commissioner Baramulla has taken over the charge and, as such, he may be allowed some more time for taking action in regard to the matters connected in this PIL.

“In view of the above, we direct B. A. Dar, learned Sr. AAG to submit a fresh action taken report regarding the establishment of the dumping ground for the garbage and for cleaning and lifting of the garbage from the town of Sopore,” the court said “He may file the report within one month supported by affidavit of the Deputy Commissioner himself,” the court added.

During a previous hearing, the High Court banned constructions within 200 metres of the boundaries of the Wular Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes of Asia.

The court had also directed authorities to ensure that no garbage was “at all” dumped within the boundaries or within such distance of the Lake as is mandated by the law as well as the International and National Protocols for such area.

Rejecting the “excuse” by the government that garbage was dumped within the boundaries of the Wular Lake “for want of land for the dumping of the garbage,” the court had made it clear that the authorities were “bound to and shall ensure that no garbage at all is dumped within the boundaries or within such distance of the Lake as is mandated by the law as well as the International and National Protocols of the area. “Every step in this regard shall be undertaken to ensure that there is no pollution of the Lake,” the court had added. Subsequently various places were identified for the dumping of the waste.

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