Srinagar, Jan 6: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has sought status report indicating “follow up” action in keeping with its directions regarding upkeep of the public parks in J&K.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar and Justice M A Chowdhary observed that all the stakeholders and departments were asked on September 19 last year to submit the physical and financial progress of the parks for the financial year 2022-23 under their possession and maintenance.
Besides, the bench said, all the concerned departments were asked to submit the status report to the office of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir for its onward submission before the High Court. “Directorate of Floriculture, Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Srinagar Development Authority were asked to submit the requisite report before the High Court directly after proper vetting by the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir”.
Besides all the concerned Departments were directed to erect ramps on the entry points of all the parks so as to ensure an easy access for the specially-abled persons.
“Counsel for the respondents is directed to file status report indicating the follow up action that has been taken pursuant to the directions,” the Bench said, adding, “Further Divisional Commissioner, Jammu shall also file status report on next date of hearing in terms order dated 19.09.2022.” The Court has posted the PIL for further consideration on March 1.
On July 15, last year, the Court had asked Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu to hold quarterly meetings of all the authorities responsible for developing and maintaining various parks including heritage gardens so as to coordinate their working. It had also said that certain directions were also issued such as banning the use of plastic and construction in the park. The Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir respectively were required to submit periodical reports with regard to the progress of the same.
“In pursuance, status report has been filed by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu only and not by Divisional Commissioner, (Kashmir). There is no report regarding the status of the various parks of Srinagar,” the court had observed.
The report of the Divisional Commissioner Jammu, the court had said, reflects that it is not a coordinated work undertaken by the Commissioner “rather certain parks have been left to the mercy of the Jammu Municipal Corporation.”
Subsequently, it had directed both the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to revisit the matter and after having a proper meeting with all the stakeholders and submit their independent reports to the court.