Rashid Paul

HC directs govt to publicize penalties for carrying polythene to tourist resorts

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Srinagar: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Home and other departments of the J&K government to prepare proper publicity material notifying prohibitions and penalties for carrying forbidden materials like polythene to the tourist resorts.

Hearing a public interest litigation by Pahalgam Peoples Welfare Organization about the damage caused to Pahalgam tourist area, a division bench of the J&K High Court observed that the union territories of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are an ecologically fragile area.

The prohibition on polythene is required to be strictly enforced especially at tourist spots, it said.

“It is essential that the respondent authorities give due publicity of the prohibition and apprise all vehicle-owners and the public at large about the legal position,” directed the bench.

It issued a direction to the J&K State Pollution Control Board, Departments of Home, Tourism, Floriculture, Environment and Forests, and Housing and Urban Development to prepare proper publicity material for the purpose.

The publicity material shall be posted in the electronic and print media besides displaying it on signage’s at all the prominent places in the Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, directed the court.

The publicity material, according to the court direction shall inform the public regarding prohibitions and the financial liabilities which shall flow to the vehicle owners for carrying such prohibited material.

The respondent authorities have been directed to file an action taken report on the matter before the court by next date of hearing.

The directions followed an application praying for issuing directions for release of a truck seized by Deputy Commissioner, Sales Tax Enforcement, Lakhanpur on 25th July 2019.

The vehicle was seized for carrying polythene bags in violation of the orders which banned transportation of polythene carry-bags in the erstwhile state.

The applicant contended that he was not aware of the fact that the use of polythene has been banned in the J&K and the vehicle was the sole means to earning bread for his children.

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