Continue monitoring Jhelum's level: High Court to CWC

The High Court has asked the Central Water Commission (CWC) to continue monitoring the water level in river Jhelum, which unleashed the most catastrophic flood in the Valley’s history in September 2014.    

While hearing two public interest litigation petitions, division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar permitted the Commission to install the equipment needed to monitor the water level in the river in the public interest.

The bench was hearing five PILs, which included the pleas by Environmental Policy Group (EPG) and one Moulvi Peer-Noor-ul-Haq.

The court asked advocate NadeemQadri, who assists it as amicus curiae, to place before it a summary of the waterways and various water bodies which are the subject matter of the five PILs besides the court orders issued and the steps already taken or required to be taken.

“Let such a summary be placed before this court. The summary shall not be more than three pages,” the court said and ordered that a copy of it be shared within four weeks with all the parties and the authorities that are before the court.

Given the importance of the matter and the several steps which have been taken, the court said, it would see that the steps which have already been taken deserve to be put in the public domain so that there are no unwarranted objections.

Meanwhile the court exempted Commissioner Secretary PHE, I&FC Department from personal appearance till further orders after allowing his application in this regard.  

On May 13, the court had expressed its dismay over “lax approach” in formulating the action plan for prevention of floods and had   directed Commissioner Secretary PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control to present himself in the court and bring along the action plan.    

The court had held that nearly five years have elapsed since 2014 floods and the government has failed to come up with an action plan to save the people from floods.