HC seeks ‘Vision Plan’ on solid waste disposal in J&K

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh asked the government to come up with a “vision plan” concerning the disposal of solid waste in Jammu and Kashmir, even as it sought details of the funds utilised for waste management.

Hearing a related Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal asked Commissioner Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, to provide complete details of the steps taken so far and proposed to be taken regarding the disposal of the solid waste.

The court also asked him to furnish details regarding the utilisation of funds received from the Central and State government in the past for the disposal of solid waste.

While the court pointed out that despite repeated directions, the respondents (concerned authorities in the government) have not come out with any vision plan about the disposal of solid waste, it said: “Enough time has been granted in the past and even costs have been imposed, but with no effect.”

Following this observation, the court sought details regarding steps taken for disposal of the solid waste and utilisation of funds for this purpose received from the Center as well as the State government.

Moreover, the court asked the Commissioner Secretary to file his personal affidavit, indicating compliance with every order so far passed by it from time to time.

The PIL filed by Environmental Policy Group through Advocate Shafqat Nazir seeks direction for a proper management system in place in every district so that all types of solid waste are segregated and properly utilised.

Meanwhile, the court disposed of a similar plea by inhabitants of Parigam Wanpora and Tumchi Nowpora villages in Pulwama district and asked the petitioners to file a comprehensive representation regarding their grievance related to the proposed solid waste and garbage site and treatment plant following the integrated solid waste management strategy 2017 at Parigam before the Deputy Commissioner.

“In the event, any such representation is filed within two weeks from today, the Deputy Commissioner should accord consideration to the same under the law and pass suitable order after due consideration of the government policy in this regard and verification of the entire facts as expeditiously as possible preferably within three months,” the court said.

The court also declined to pass any orders in another PIL filed by one Ajit Lal seeking directions to restrain the authorites from dumping garbage at the unit installed in Ward No 6 village Sui, in Udhampur district.

Pointing out that the petitioner, first of all, has not disclosed anything about himself as to how he can be recognised as a public-spirited person to maintain this writ petition on behalf of the public at large, the court said: “Secondly, the petitioner is seeking a writ like mandamus but without approaching any relevant authority for the satisfaction of the grievance raised in the petition.”

Holding the PIL not to be maintainable, the court said that the petitioner was not entitled to any direction as prayed for directly from it.

“The petitioner, if so advised may approach the concerned authorities for the satisfaction of his grievance by filing a proper representation and in case he so approaches the authority, the court expects that the authority concerned will consider the grievance following the law in an appropriate manner most expeditiously,” the court said.

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