Srinagar, July 27: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed Lakes and waterways Development Authority to submit within two weeks action taken by it before Committee of Experts (‘CoE’) regarding measures among others to stop sewage and polluted water flowing into the Dal lake, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar also directed the LAWDA to submit report regarding measures taken on pollution from House Boats, boundary demarcation of the lake, protection of catchment areas, relocation and rehabilitation of encroachments and title-holders from the Lake , floating gardens to be removed, de-weeding and disposal of weeds, management of solid waste, dredging of the waterbody, court’s direction regarding video graph and photograph besides petitions received for renovation, repair and reconstruction.
The directions by the court followed perusal of a report submitted by Tufail Mattoo, Vice Chairman, LAWDA, recording minutes of meeting by the Committee of Experts regarding their recent visit to the Dal Lake.
“It is heartening to note that the installation of 150 boundary pillars on the Dal Lake based on the Survey of India Map stands completed,” the court observed.
In addition, the court was informed that the Committee of Experts has held a detailed digital meeting on 20 June in which the Vice Chairman, LAWDA and his team, the Director Tourism and S. K. Jha, Retd. Vice-Admiral. The Committee had noted that no action had taken place in last three months and, therefore, reviewed time lines.
“We have carefully perused the report of the COE and the minutes. Almost four months have passed since the visit of the Committee. It is, therefore, essential to have the latest report with regard to the issues pointed out,” the court observed. The Committee of Experts had also noted several other issues pertaining to tourism, managing Houseboats, Refurbishment Work for STPs and State Pollution Control Board.
Meanwhile, the court also directed Home Secretary of the Government of Jammu and
Kashmir to forthwith look into the matter regarding police assistance needed to LAWDA and ensure that the needful was done in this regard.
“Very pertinent observations have been made by the Committee of Experts with regard to the need to strengthen LAWDA’s administration and capacity. It has been pointed out that two Deputy SPs were assigned to the LAWDA,” the court observed. Also Tufail Matoo submitted that since the recoding of the visit of the CoE, the one Dy. SP who had joined LAWDA, had been taken away and presently there is no police official to assist the work of LAWDA. (GNS)