HC for strict polythene prohibition in JK, Ladakh

The High Court has directed governments of J&K and Ladakh to give wide publicity to ‘polythene prohibition’ in their respective Union Territories.

Pointing out that J&K and Ladakh are ecologically fragile areas especially with eco-sensitive tourism spots, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta observed that the prohibition on polythene was required to be enforced strictly.

“It is essential that the respondents give due publicity of the prohibition and apprise all vehicle owners and the public at large about the legal position (on it),” the court said.

The court directed the J&K Home Department, the Pollution Control Board, and the departments of Tourism, Floriculture, Environment and Forest, and Housing and Urban Development to prepare and publish through print and electronic media publicity material in this regard.

It also asked for publicising polythene prohibition through signage at prominent places in J&K and Ladakh.

“The publicity material,” the court said, “should inform public regarding the prohibitions and disclosing the liability, which shall flow to the vehicle owners for carrying such prohibited material.”

The court said a copy of its order be served on secretaries of departments concerned, all development authorities.

The court sought an action taken report in this regard by November 10. It was hearing an application seeking release of a truck which was seized while carrying “prohibited material”.

The application was moved in the PIL titled Pahalgam People’s Welfare Organization vs J&K state seeking preservation of Pahalgam health resort.