HC seeks LCMA’s response to petitions seeking permission for constructions in and around Dal Lake
Srinagar: The High Court on Wednesday directed the Vice-Chairman, J&K Lake Conservation & Management Authority (LCMA) to respond to the writ petitions seeking grant of permission for constructions in and around Dal Lake.
The court also directed “let claim of the applicants be considered by the respondent authorities for ensuring the permission in tune with the permissible limits”.
A two judge bench directed the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department to file an affidavit in compliance with its earlier orders, especially the steps taken regarding re-examining the buffer zone around the lake.
It further directed the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development “to file an affidavit in compliance of the directions passed by this court on 08.09.2022 and 09.11.2022 read with today’s order in advance of the next date”.
The bench also directed the LCMA “to file the responses to the writ petitions seeking direction for grant of permission for construction in accordance with the Master Plan and the applicable law”.
During the Wednesday hearing, Advocate General said “the official respondents are in the process of implementing the order and shall be submitting responses so as to enable the court to decide the applications/writ petitions seeking directions for grant of permission in terms of the Master Plan 2035.”
During the pendency of the PIL on Dal, several writ petitions were filed seeking directions upon the respondents for grant of permissions to raise constructions around the lake in accordance with the Master Plan 2035.
The Plan was notified in February 2019 by the government. However, in 2002, it was directed that no construction work or even carrying of building material in and around the 200 meters from the centre of the foreshore road of Dal Lake be allowed. The only exception provided was for the purposes of grant of permission for repairs and renovations of the existing buildings falling within 200 meters from the centre of the road.
The Master Plan 2035 relaxed the 200 meters limit by defining buffer zones from 20 to 100 meters from the periphery of the concerned water-body. While accepting the implementation of the Master Plan with respect to other water-bodies, the court has already clarified that prohibition on construction contained in the order of 2002 shall stand modified in consonance with the Master Plan.