HC asks Govt to constitute panel
Mooring Sites For Houseboats
D A RASHID
Srinagar, Aug 6: The High Court on Saturday directed the Government to constitute a high-powered committee headed be Chief Secretary, to examine the proposed mooring sites for houseboats in Dal lake and submit its report to the Court.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice, F M Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice M Y Mir while hearing the Public Interest Litigation on Dal Lake directed the government to take necessary measures for the development of identified mooring sites.
“The Court directed constitution of a high-powered committee comprising representatives from central government, IIT Roorke (who had prepared detailed project report for Dal lake conservation), Chief Engineer PDD, Chief Engineer PHE, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Director Floriculture, Advocate General, Amicus Curiae, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, President, Vice President and Secretary of the House Boat Owners Association. “As per the Court directions, the Committee will be presided over by the Chief Secretary and Vice-Chairman Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) will be its convenor,” Amicus Curiae, Zaffar Shah told Greater Kashmir.
The panel, according to Shah, would examine the proposed mooring sites of the House Boats and development of the area and submit its report to the Court.
During the proceedings of the case, Shah Saturday pleaded before the Court about the substandard and inefficient working of the Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) installed by the LAWDA around the lake.
“The STPs were installed under Court orders and it is shocking these have not come up to the expectations,” Shah told the Court. “The officials who did not take proper decisions both administrative and technical vis-à-vis installing STPs are culpable of wrongdoing and need to be punished under law,” Shah argued.
The Amicus Curiae informed the Court that it (Court) trusted the Technical know-how of the officers who were involved in the execution of STP project but sadly there was only a betrayal of the trust by the officers. “More effective measures need to be taken to ensure proper and suitable utilization of funds meant for Dal conservation,” he said.
The Court also considered other measures including rehabilitation of the Dal dwellers at Rakhi Gund Arth, allotment of plots, demolition of structures, conversion of landmass into water body of the lake and other allied issues.
Earlier, after inspection of the lake, the competent authorities had identified Dol Dem area for anchoring houseboats and accordingly LAWDA was directed to prepare a detailed plan for new mooring sites for the houseboats.
LAWDA today submitted the plan of proposed mooring sites, parks and other sites of tourist interest to be developed at Dol Dem involving a cost of more than Rs 30 crore.
The Court also asked the chairman House Boat Owners Association to cooperate on the matter so that historic lake can be saved and the Dal dwellers are also not disturbed.
“We are ready for cooperation provided our proper rehabilitation is ensured. We know our prosperity is linked to an intact water body of Dal lake. Our prosperity will always spring from the lake but our rehabilitation should not be undermined,” chairman of the Houseboat Owners Association Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo told the Court.
Regarding unsatisfactory performance and inefficiency of STPs, the Advocate General M I Qadri informed the court that the Pollution Control Board has approached the Central PCB to determine the norms regarding filtered discharge of STPs so at present PCB doesn’t have fixed standards to determine whether particular discharge is below standards or not. “Therefore on their analysis it can not be said that discharge of the STPs is below standard,” he said.
“I suggested that the Central PCB may be approached for assessment of existing STP discharges and let them examine their working as well as discharge,”
Advocate General was assisted by Government Advocate Shah Aamir while the Amicus Curiae was assisted by Syed Faisal Qadri.
About setting up of Tourist Village at Nishat, which is under stay, Counsel for the petitioners Advocate Muksha Kazmi moved an application and the Court asked for filing objections in the application.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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