HC prohibits all constructions within 200 meters of Wular Lake boundaries
Srinagar: The J&K High Court Thursday directed that no construction activity shall be permitted within 200 meters of the boundaries of the Wular Lake.
Hearing a public interest litigation on the vandalization of Wular Lake, the court directed the Union territory administration to immediately take necessary steps for removal of the encroachments within the boundary and vicinity of the largest fresh water body of J&K.
“The respondents shall immediately take necessary steps for removal of the encroachments within the boundary and vicinity of Wular Lake and no construction activity shall be permitted or come up within 200 metres of the boundaries of the lake,” directed a two judge bench hearing the case via virtual mode.
During a recent visit to the site, the court found that encroachments had come up within the boundaries and on the banks of the lake. It had also found that the lake had been turned in to a garbage site by the authorities.
The court while hearing the matter today made it clear that no excuse can be accepted at all for dumping the garbage within the identified boundaries of the Wular Lake.
“The respondents are bound to and shall ensure that no garbage at all is dumped within the boundaries or within such distance of the lake as is mandated by the law as well as the international and national protocols of the area,” it directed.
It stressed upon the authorities to “undertake every step to ensure that there is no pollution of the lake”.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla had admitted before the court that garbage was being dumped into the lake for “want of a landfill site”.
Meanwhile the court was today informed by the District Legal Services Authority Baramulla that a committee of the officials of the Revenue, Flood Control & Irrigation, and the Forest departments have identified the land in Baramulla and Sopore for creation of a solid waste landfill.
The court directed “no obstruction shall be caused by any person to the setting up of this site”.
It directed the Police department to ensure provision of adequate security to enable setting up of the garbage dumping sites.
It also directed the respondents to “undertake the awareness drive in the area to educate people in devising the generation of work, solid and liquid waste, as also preventing garbage dumping and littering in the area.”
The District Legal Services Authority has been asked to facilitate such drives in coordination with the concerned authorities.
The court urged upon the Wular Lake Authority to “identify the issues, the steps underway as well as proposed for conservation of Wular and discuss it with the committee of experts constituted for Dal, the other lake gasping for survival.