Grants government 4 weeks to furnish report
Expressing dissatisfaction over “unchanged” ground reality of Dal lake, the High Court on Thursday said the objective of de-weeding, removal of encroachments and pollution check in the water body has not been achieved so far.
A division bench of acting chief Justice Aloke Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura observed that despite many directions, nothing tangible has been achieved with regard to doing away with the ills plaguing the Dal lake.
“De-weeding, pollution control and removal of encroachments are far from satisfactory,” the bench observed, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking conservation of Dal lake.
The Court granted the government four weeks to furnish a report indicating in tabular form its orders passed since 2000 in the PIL. The court asked the government to indicate the time frame for implementing court directions and the future course of action with regard to preservation of the lake.
The Court also asked the government to fix responsibility on one concerned individual so that effective orders are passed see a palpable ground change instead of seeing holding meeting of officers.
The court also disapproved an inaction with regard to proposed finalization legislation for Dal lake saying the same is pending before the state government.
As soon as the matter came up for hearing today, Amicus Curie and senior Advocate Z A Shah told the court that no desired results have been achieved with regard to preservation and conservation of Dal lake.
“The cabinet is taking absolutely wrong decisions with regard to the lake. The first decision was to engage global expert and outsource the project .The VC LAWDA was to give presentation to the Cabinet, which was given. The Urban Development minister was asked to visit the lake and discuss the issue with colleagues and submit report,” the Amicus curie said. All these decisions, he said, have resulted in delaying acquisition of de-weeding machines.
He said the machines according to the Scientific Advisory Committee were to be acquired before March 2018, yet nothing has been done. “Resultantly lilly re-emerged once again during summer months,” he told the court.
The amicus said that the officers required for implementation of court orders, lack commitment and will.
This fact, he said, is evident as from the last one year the officers have not responded to the proposed legislation on Dal lake and the same is pending finalization.
He submitted that despite the court having constituted state advisory committee and monitoring committee, obstacles have crept in implementation of orders. The Amicus said although with regard to water bodies, the stake holders are on the same page, yet there is no forward movement in preservation and conservation of the lake. “The court orders are not implemented without any justifiable reason which amounts to constitutional failure. The stakeholders have to come up with out of box solution to the problems”.
He said the case has been in High Court since 2002 yet no effective progress has been made because of lack of will and commitment of the officers. He suggested that the matter be referred to full court and all secretaries be summoned so as to impress upon them importance of the matter.