Brick Kilns operating within 8 km radius of Srinagar airport
WHY? HC asks DC Budgam to explain
Srinagar: The High Court today directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam to explain as to how brick kilns are being allowed to operate within eight kilometer radius of the Srinagar Airport despite a ban on it.
The direction ensued an application by T M Shamsi, Assistant Solicitor General of India. The application stated that despite a ban order on function of brick kilns within eight kilometer radius of the Srinagar Airport, several brick kilns are still functioning and causing smog which hampers the flight operations.
“We direct the DC Budgam to file response to this application clearly stating as to how brick kilns are being allowed to operate within 08 kms of radius from the centre of the runway in spite of clear direction of this court contained in the order dated 18.10.2019 and the subsequent orders,” an order by the Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar said.
The DC has also been directed to submit a list of all such brick kilns with name of their owners that operate within this space “so that, if necessary, they may also be given appropriate notice and directed to close down the kilns”.
The applicant had initiated this PIL specifically against the allegedly illegal running of a brick kiln by one Ashok Kumar in District Kathua of the Jammu province.
Since a PIL was already pending consideration in relation to the brick kiln matter, the petition was directed to be registered as an application in the pending PIL.
Rahul Bharti, senior counsel appearing for the applicant Atul Spolia, submitted before the court that the aforesaid brick kiln was established illegally in 2005 without any permission or license from the concerned authorities.
The court accordingly directed that the brick kiln should stop functioning.
In a subsequent order it also directed “seizing of the brick kiln”.
Permission was subsequently granted to the owner allowing him to operate the kiln.
The permission, however, expired on 31st of March, 2015, but the information furnished under the RTI revealed that the brick kiln was still being run, advocate Bharti informed the court.
The court consequently directed the respondent kiln owner to file response to a notice within a month.
In the meantime, Ashok Kumar, the owner of the brick kiln has been directed not to run the contentious brick kiln, in case his permission or license has expired and has not been renewed.