'Direct NGOs to extend services to remote J&K areas'

J&K High Court on Saturday directed the government to respond to a plea seeking the NGOs should extend their services far-flung areas of Union territory as well.

Advocate Naveed Bakhtiyar has filed an application before the Court seeking directions to the government for extending the operations of NGOs to far-flung areas like Gurez, Tangdhar, Machail and Uri.

“People living in these areas are economically weak and in desperate need of basic requirements of survival. This is very critical issue and the official respondents are bound to ensure that the essentials are made available to every person living in the Union Territory,” the plea said.

In response to the prayer made in the petition, a division bench of Chief Justice, Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal said: “We have doubts as to whether the directions which have been sought in this application can be given by us. However the prayer though couched differently is really in the nature of cry for help for basic necessities from far flung areas of Kashmir.”

The bench issued notice to J&K government through its Chief Secretary, Commissioner, Secretary Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Divisional Commissioner Jammu.

The notice was accepted by senior Additional Advocate General (AAG) BA Dar. A copy of the application, the Court said, shall also be served to AAG Amit Gupta as well as MK Sharma, Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Service Authority for ensuring the necessary intervention and assistance to the needy.

The Court also asked Social Welfare Department to examine the matter and take appropriate action to assist the residents of living in far flung areas. “Action taken report shall be filed before us before the next date of hearing,” the Court said.

The applicant has also sought directions to the authorities for identifying the NGOs working in J&K and ensuring they operate in far flung areas.