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HC closes PIL on pollution of Doodganga stream, water filtration plant on it

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Asks J&K authorities to implement NGT’s directions

Srinagar: The High Court has closed a public interest litigation (PIL) on the pollution of Doodganga stream and the water filtration plant raised on it, saying the directions to tackle the issue shall be implemented by the Union Territory administration.

A division bench of court citing a March 08, 2022 direction passed by National Green Tribunal (NGT), said it is abundantly clear that the issue is pending consideration of the Tribunal and very effective directions have been passed to tackle the issue of pollution of Doodganga stream passing through the city, and the Doodganga Filtration Plant.

The bench said that it is satisfied with the intervention of NGT. “The needful shall be done by the Union Territory of J&K to prevent the pollution and environmental degradation of Doodganga stream and Doodganga Filtration Plant. The NGT is still seized of the matter and is monitoring the implementation of the directions issued from time to time,” the court said.

The bench held that it does not see any reason to keep the PIL pending in the J&K High Court and accordingly the proceedings in the PIL were closed.

It directed the Deputy Commissioner Budgam to pay a sum of Rs 25,000 to amicus (lawyer), who assisted the court in the matter.

The petition in public interest was initiated on the news reports that Doodhganga was no more milky due to official apathy. The reports explained the deteriorating condition of Doodganga stream and the Doodganga Water Filtration Plant on it.

The court cited the reports disclosing that heaps of garbage were lying around Doodhganga Filtration Plant. The project was built in 1972 and supplied water to more than two lakh people in different areas of Srinagar.

Accordingly, a Division Bench of this court took cognizance of the news item and issued notice at the first instance to J&K Pollution Control Board, Department of Public Health Engineering and Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

Thereafter, several directions were passed to ensure that the pollution in and around the Doodganga Stream and the Filtration Plant is eradicated. The court found that a similar application raising the issue was filed before the NGT.

The response of the amicus disclosed that NGT has taken cognizance of the matter and issued several directions from time to time.

The court said that it is satisfied that with the intervention of NGT to prevent the pollution and environmental degradation of Doodganga Stream and Doodganga Filtration Plant. It consequently closed the PIL that ran since 2019.

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