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HC gives 2 weeks time to govt to file ATR on Wullar conservation

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Srinagar: The High Court on Monday granted government two weeks time for filing the action taken report regarding conservation and preservation of the Wullar Lake.

Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajesh Sekhri in a public interest litigation (PIL) on the matter observed that sufficient funds are being provided by the central government for the conservation and preservation of the water-body.

As the hearing of the PIL started, Advocate General D C Raina submitted that in accordance with the direction of the court, he is coordinating and supervising the development and cleaning work of the Wullar Lake.

Raina said that a report is being prepared by him but has to improve it for which he requires some more time.

“D C Raina, learned AG, is granted two weeks further time for filing the action taken report,” directed the court.

Advocate Nadeem Qadri, Amicus Curiae in the PIL, submitted that he himself visited the site and that work of preservation and cleaning of Wullar Lake was going on.

He, however said, the dredging activity which is being undertaken is going at a very slow pace.

“Sh. Nadeem Qadri, will also bring on record his own inspection report along-with suggestions he proposes to make for development of Wullar Lake,” the court said.

On May 22 this year, the court had observed that Rs 200 crore more had been provided by the Union of India for conservation and management of the lake.

“The report on record mentions that under the Wullar Action Plan, about Rs. 125 crores have already been spent.”

The Senior Additional Advocate General, the court said, was directed to indicate the strength of the staff of Wullar Conservation and Management Authority, the number of persons employed and the effective steps taken by the Authority for conservation and preservation of the lake.

In response, the court said, the Additional Chief Executive Director, Wullar Conservation and Management Authority, Kashmir, filed Action Taken Report on November 08, 2021 simply stating that the Authority was making sincere efforts for conservation and preservation of the lake.

“It has staff strength of 43 employees only which are all drawn on deputation and that there is no separate sanctioned staff in the Authority,” the report mentioned.

Subsequently the court said that the Chief Executive Director owns an explanation as to what action he has taken to get the staff for the Authority sanctioned and for its appointment, as also how the amount of Rs 125 crores provided by the Union of India has been spent with complete details of the heads under which the expenses have been incurred.


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