Dal conservation: High Court seeks govt response on rehabilitation of dwellers

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J&K High Court has directed the government to inform it with regard to constitution of a panel and action taken on rehabilitation of the Dal Lake dwellers.   

A division bench of Chief justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta asked its registry to place the Court order as well as the report of the Committee of Experts (COEs) on Dal before J&K Chief Secretary for examining the matter for optimum solution of all the issues.

“It shall be open for the Chief Secretary to appoint an appropriate Committee for looking into the matter and making its recommendations keeping in view the interest of the Union Territory, the residents, business owners and various persons dependent for livelihood on the related businesses” the Court said.

The Court was hearing a plea by a hotel owner whose business establishment was sealed in the vicinity of Dal following an adverse report. “Government of J&K should formulate a policy for rehabilitation of such commercial units. The hotel should not be allowed to continue at the present location, even if they establish a modern sewage treatment plant and its effluent conform to the latest standards of Pollution Control Board” the Panel has said.  

The J&K government, the panel has said, may most expeditiously devise a policy for rehabilitation of commercial units which may cover all cases that fall in the category of commercial units.  

The Court underscored that the matter involves a multiple departmental consultation between Tourism department, PCB, LAWDA and Revenue department.

Observing that apparently no specific government department was looking at the work of rehabilitation, the Court in its earlier order had directed the Chief Secretary to examine the matter and appoint a committee of officers and nodal department which would be responsible for entire rehabilitation work.

“This Committee shall prepare the details of all necessary steps and the timelines within which the rehabilitation of the relocates from the Dal Lake shall be completed,” the Court had said. It has now asked senior Additional Advocate General, BA Dar to file an action taken report before the Court on the next date on October 1.