HC raps govt’s half-hearted efforts towards constituting State Wetland Authority
Seeks concrete action plan for preserving wetlands
Srinagar, Feb 04: Expressing discontentment over the non-submission of a tangible action plan on the networking of streams, lakes, and wetlands with River Jhelum and constitution of a State Wetland Authority, the J&K High Court today directed the government to file a concrete action plan for preserving the wetland resources of the state.
As the official lawyer submitted before the bench that he has received compliance on the issue from the concerned agency but it does not contain a solid action plan as directed by the court, the court held that the half-hearted compliance is an issue of serious nature.
Consequently it directed the state to file a concrete action plan on next date of hearing of the matter.
Earlier, amicus curie Nadeem Qadri informed the court that solid waste is being thrown into River Jhelum, the life-line of Kashmir and no steps are being taken by the state government to address the issue.
The court directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to ensure that no solid waste is thrown into the river and proper steps are taken to curb this nuisance.
The High Court had previously sought compliance of its directions as regards re-establishing the networking of streams, lakes, wetlands with River Jhelum and constitution of a State Wetland Authority.
The court hearing a suo-moto PIL on the instructions of Supreme Court has already issued notice to the Ministry of Environment and Climatic Change through its Secretary to inform the court on the issue of constitution of State Wetland Authority.
The court had been informed that as per the ‘Atlas Ecology and Remote Sensing’ of the state, there are 1230 wetlands identified in the state under ‘Ramsar Conservation Sites’.
Referring to Rule 5 of the rules, court was informed that it provides that an Authority has to be in place for management of wetlands in the state.