File comprehensive plan to ensure cleanliness, garbage disposal near Wular Lake: HC to Dir ULB
Post by Syed Rukaya on Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Srinagar, Nov 01: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Tuesday directed the Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, to file a comprehensive affidavit indicating all the steps for ensuring cleanliness and collection of garbage dumped near the famous water body Wular Lake and its disposal in tune with the scheme of law.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul directed the officer to file the affidavit by or before November, 14, this year.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to dumping of municipal waste on the Ramsar Wetland in North Kashmir's Sopore town, the court directed the Executive Officers, Municipal Council, Baramulla and Sopore to ensure collection of garbage and its dumping at the site identified and "the same shall also be done in case of other Municipal Councils."
The court passed the directions after the Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, Mathoora Masoom, who was present in the Court, submitted that a comprehensive plan was prepared for ensuring cleanliness and collection of garbage and its disposal in tune with the scheme of law.
She submitted that the establishment of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is a time consuming affair, "but the Department has already initiated the process of designing these MRFs for further preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) from the PWD and R&B Departments."
The Director further submitted that the plan for execution will take some time, but in the meanwhile, the garbage is dumped at Jetty Khawjabagh, Baramulla, so far as collection of garbage from Municipal Council Baramulla and Municipal Council, Sopore is concerned.
She informed that the land measuring 40 Kanals, transferred by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir in terms of order dated April, 05, 2022, situated at Darnamabal, Sopore, near Sofi Akbar Road, has not been used for dumping, as the NOC has not been issued by the Pollution Control Board (PCB).
Massom also submitted that some Municipal areas in Kashmir under the jurisdiction of Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, are already in the process of completion of the MRFs, which may be commissioned in near future.
After hearing the Director, the court said, "In view of above, we direct the Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, to file comprehensive affidavit, indicating all the steps, as mentioned orally by her before this Court in order to ensure the compliance of laws on the disposal of the garbage with copy in advance to other side."
In the event, the bench said, affidavit is filed, the Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, need not to appear on the next date of hearing.
The bench also directed the petitioners to file its response in the matter.
The PIL filed in 2020 by Central Auqaf Committee Tarzoo through counsel Shafkat Nazir had sought immediate stoppage of dumping of municipal solid waste, biomedical waste on the land, Ramsar Wetland, contained under survey No. 90 situated at Dharnambal, Ningli Tarzoo Sopore which falls within the delineated periphery pillars of Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) and also within the limits of Hygam-Ningli-Tarzoo Tourism Development Authority.
The plea stated that in the month of March, 2020 Municipal council, Sopore started dumping waste in close vicinity of Wular Lake.
“Both biodegradable and non-biodegradable and biomedical wastes were dumped right on the banks/ boundary of Wular lake in the midst of tourist huts and near the prestigious Wullar barrage/ navigation project which is of international importance,” it said.
It was submitted that the solid waste is being dumped without following the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the whole place has been converted into a stinky swamp.
The petitioner Committee pleaded that respondents be directed to develop the area in a planned manner given its huge tourism potential while taking care of the environmental sensitivities.
It had also sought a direction to the respondents to identify a proper place for dumping of municipal waste away from the residential and environmentally sensitive areas and develop the same in terms of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.