Srinagar: The High Court has held that there is no difficulty for the LAWDA in dealing with the building permissions sought about the properties situated beyond 200 meters of the peripheries of the Dal Lake.
“It may be noted that there is no difficulty for the LAWDA in dealing with the building permissions sought of properties situated beyond 200 meters of the periphery of the Lake and the same can be considered by it in accordance with law on their own merits without intervention of the Court,” a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul said.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on conservation of Dal, the court however said in the event of any dispute as to whether the area is within the prohibited area or beyond it, the matter would be considered by the Divisional Commissioner, who may with the assistance of its officers may survey the land and make measurements for determination of the correct location of the area and its distance from the lake.
The court said the difficulty only arises in respect of the permission sought for repairs or renovation and re-erection of the buildings within the 200 meters of the periphery of the Lake wherein all kind of construction is prohibited.
“In connection with this area, the permission sought is either for the major or minor repairs, renovation, re-erection of the dilapidated buildings, face-lifting of the old structures and for re-doing the interiors and development of parks etc”.
Accordingly, the court said, such activities can be classified as Repairs, Renovation, Face-lifting and Interiors, Development of open areas and Erection and re-erection of the buildings.
“The LAWDA cannot refuse to entertain applications for permissions in regard to the above matters and may deal with the applications for the repairs, renovation, face lifting, interiors and development of open areas within the prohibited area on its own level strictly in accordance with law ensuring that in the garb of such permission, no new construction are raised” court said.
With regard to the applications seeking erection or re-erection of the old dilapidated buildings or the new buildings, the court said: “Such permission shall not ordinarily be granted as the object of the court is to remove all constructions specially unauthorized and to clear the area in and around the Lake for its proper development and to have complete open space within 200 meters from the periphery of the Lake”.
“All the applications for such permission filed before this Court stand disposed of with liberty to the applicants to submit their applications in the prescribed form before the LAWDA itself and it will be open for the LAWDA to entertain such applications and to pass appropriate orders granting or refusing permission subject to the conditions as may be deem fit and suitable in accordance with law and if necessary to place any of them before the Court for necessary guidance”, court said.
The directions came after the court observed that several applications seeking permission for the repairing of houses, renovation, facelifting and for interiors as well as for development of parks within 200 meters of the prohibited area of the Dal have not been entertained as construction work or even carrying of building material is not permitted in and around the Dal. “In some of the cases LAWDA has passed order that the applications cannot be considered as the property is situate within 200 meters of the prohibited area” it said
“No doubt the court has banned all construction activity within 200 meters of the periphery of Dal and even the transportation of the building material in and around the Lake. Nonetheless the court vide order dated 25th August 2021 has directed that all applications for repairs and reconstruction of the building in and around the Lake would henceforth be presented before the LAWDA and be placed before the competent authority for consideration of grant of permission in accordance with law” court said.
Meanwhile in response to the submission by Advocate General D C Raina that if a plan of the development of the Dal and the area around is depicted on a map or is demonstrated on a screen, it would be better for clear understanding, the bench said: “We agree with the proposal and, as such, direct the matter to be listed on 24th September 2021, by which date the map may be prepared and filed and arrangement for screening be made”.