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Inform steps taken for adequate cleaning of Ramsar wetland: HC to Dir ULB

Post by Syed Rukaya on Friday, October 21, 2022

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Srinagar, Oct 20: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh directed the Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir to appear in person before it on October 31 and inform about the steps taken for adequate cleaning of the municipal waste from the Sopore town and its disposal at some appropriate authorized place or centre.
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 Director Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir to file an affidavit with regard to the steps taken for adequate cleaning of the municipal waste & garbage from the Sopore town and its disposal at some appropriate authorized place or centre.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Dhar directed the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla to submit an action taken report within a week regarding the establishment of the dumping ground for garbage and for cleaning and lifting of the garbage from Sopore town.
The bench also directed the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Baramulla to ensure filing of response regarding suitability of the site identified for setting up of Solid Waste Management Facility at Sopore town by the next date of hearing.
The court listed the matter for hearing on October, 31, 2022.
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.
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 water from the Wular Lake and also the rain water wash away the garbage and filth into the Wular Lake and river Jhelum and also into the premises of tourist huts. The area which was earlier identified as the only recreational park for the whole area was surprisingly converted into a dumping site without following the rules or taking any permission/NOC from the Pollution Control Board or WUCMA,” the plea submitted.
 “On the basis of the above said communication which was also forwarded to Divisional Forest officer, Bandipora. It was recommended that an FIR should be lodged against the Municipal Council Sopore for such encroachment,” the petitioner Committee stated in the petition.

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