HC seeks action-taken report on Dal Lake

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the government to infirm it by October 28 about action taken with regard to land acquisition and rehabilitation in Dal Lake here.  

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta sought the action taken report from the authorities concerned after it was informed that a panel was constituted by the government for undertaking land acquisition and rehabilitation.

The Court was told that the Principal Secretary Revenue Department was designated as Nodal Officer for this purpose and the Revenue Department was designated as Nodal Department for the rehabilitation work.

The Committee of Experts on Dal Lake had suggested setting up a committee of officers for taking up the acquisition and rehabilitation process and also to come up with a comprehensive plan for identifying the source of funding and timelines for action.

With regard to delay in acquisition and taking possession of the land for laying of sewer line for stoppage of sewage flowing directly into the Nigeen, the LAWDA informed the Court that a petition was filed in the Court of Principal District & Sessions Judge (PDSJ) Srinagar and a compensation Rs 22,54,000 was also deposited.

The Court directed the PDSJ Srinagar to ensure that the plea filed under Land Acquisition Act was disposed of expeditiously.  

With regard to delays in acquisition matters on account of court cases, the LAWDA informed the bench that 16 cases are pending in the collectorate office for which a High Level Committee was constituted. “Let the same be undertaken expeditiously and action taken report be filed before the next date of hearing,” Court said. 

The Court directed the PDSJ Srinagar to ensure that the disposal of the pending land acquisition cases was expedited. 

So far as sales in violation of assignment guidelines of rehabilitation plots is concerned, the Court was informed that the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has issued instructions to the PDD and PHE Department for verifying the electric and water connection in order to ensure identification of the real occupants. 

In response to LAWDA’s report that relocated Dal dwellers have returned to the original dwellings in the Dal area, and such dwellings are being demolished pursuant to their eviction, the Court said: “Let LAWDA file details of such persons and the action taken in respect of the reoccupation of the property in the Dal area.”

On the complaints received by the LAWDA with regard to irregularities, the Court said: “Let the same be placed before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for enquiry, which shall examine and inquire the same in accordance with law.”

The decisions taken by the previous High Level Committees, the court said, be also examined by the ACB to detect any irregularities.

It sought an action taken report in this regard within four months.

The Court further held that the report with regard to the action taken by the Government on disciplinary action against officers posted in LAWDA against whom allegations are pending be placed before it by October 28. 

With regard to rehabilitation and relocation of Dal dwellers, senior AAG, B A Dar, informed the court that the Chief Secretary has constituted a Committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir. “Let this Committee place the timelines on the subject,” the court said.  

With regard to installation of STP as well as Filtration Plant for the Golf Course, the court directed the Finance Department to ensure priority to the availability of funds for this work.

In response to the report filed by Pollution Control Board with regard to the effluent sample collected at the Nehru Park showing a poor water quality, the Director Tourism Kashmir reported to court that a detailed project report was prepared in consultation with the authorities of the PCB through the Consultant SIRIUS Project management and Consultants Pvt. Limited for installation of Effluent Treatment Plant of capacity 5 KLD at Nehru Park, Srinagar at a cost of Rs 5.99 lakhs. “The project would be completed within one month,” the report said. 

While the Director Tourism informed the court that the DPR was pending with the Administrative Department for authorization and release of funds, the court directed the department to do the needful so that the project was undertaken and completed at the earliest. The Court sought an action taken report in this regard by October 28.