Garbage dumping at Wular Lake | HC may order digging of site to check veracity of claims

The J&K High Court may order digging of a site along the famous Wular lake in north Kashmir to verify if the authorities were illegally dumping garbage there.

While hearing through video conference a Public Interest Litigation seeking removal of the garbage along the banks of Wular, a bench of chief justice Gita Mittal and justice Puneet Gupta asked the authorities to ensure that the labour was available during the “court visit” for digging the site in case it was necessary, to verify what the counsel of the petitioners told court.

The direction came after advocate Shafqat Nazir on behalf of the petitioners submitted that after passing of the last order by the court, the authorities had allegedly illegally started filling-up of the garbage site and covered the same with soil.  “In view of the controversy involved the court visit is urgently necessary,” he said.

On July 16, the court had held that the court visit was necessary with regard to garbage dumping along the banks of Wular Lake.

The court had asked Additional Advocate General MA Chashoo to examine the possibility of the visit keeping in view the current situation in consultation with Registrar General of the High Court.

Meanwhile in compliance to the court direction, Assistant Solicitor General of India Tahir Shamsi on behalf of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Senior AAG, B A Dar on behalf Pollution Control Board, Forest department and Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) sought more time to file response to the petition. The court now allowed them to file response by September 1.

AAG, M A Chaschoo however filed response to the plea.

Central Auqaf Committee Tarzoo-Dharnambal, an amalgam of eight Auqaf Committees of the area, has filed the PIL.

The plea prays for a direction to the Municipal Council Sopore to stop dumping of municipal solid waste on the Ramsar wetland site situated at Dharnambal-Ningli Tarzoo in Sopore which falls within the periphery of WUCMA and also within the limits of Hygam-Ningli-Tarzoo Tourism Development Authority.

It also seeks a direction to Municipal Council to immediately remove the garbage “illegally dumped” on the spot.