Srinagar: High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam to inform it as to how brick kilns are being allowed to operate within the eight kilometer radius from the centre of the runway of the Srinagar International Airport against the court directions.
Hearing on its own motion a Public Interest Litigation, the division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar asked the DC Budgam to file response to application moved by Indian Air Force (IAF).
In its plea, the IAF contends that despite the court order banning operation of brick kilns within eight kms of radius from the centre of the runway of the Srinagar Airport, several brick kilns are still functioning and causing smog which is a hazard in the operation of flights.
After hearing Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI), Tahir Majid Shamsi, the Court directed DC Budgam, to file response to the application indicating clearly as to how brick kilns are being allowed to operate within eight kms of radius from the centre of the runway in spite of its clear direction contained in the order dated 18.10.2019 and the subsequent orders.
The DC was also directed to submit a list of all such brick kilns with name of their owners so that, if necessary, they may also be given appropriate notice and directed to close down the brick kilns.
In December last year, the Court had banned operations of brick kilns in the vicinity of Srinagar Airport with the observation that the smoke emitting from these kilns was hampering the flight operations.
The court had directed the authorities to ensure that no brick kiln was permitted to operate their furnace or undertake any activity whereby smoke was generated within eight kilometers from the centre of the runway of the airport.
The court had banned the operations of brick kilns after noting that the flight operations were badly affected at Srinagar Airport due to dense fog with visibility falling below 500 meters
Meanwhile the court directed owner of a brick kiln Ashok Kumar in District Kathua of the Jammu province not to run his brick kiln, if his permission has already expired and has not been renewed.