The High Court Monday directed the government not to allow any kind of encroachments at the source of River Jhelum.
The division bench comprising of Justices, Ali Muhammad Magrey and Dhiraj Singh Thakur, while closing down the litigation, directed the authorities to ensure that the encroachments on the banks of the River Jhelum are not permitted.
The direction was passed after a status report was submitted by the Chief Executive Officer, Verinag Development Authority, before the court.
The report states that as far as encroachment near River Jhelum were concerned, it was a fact that there might be any encroachment which could be identified by the Revenue department in coordination with the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) department.
“For removing these encroachments, action can be initiated accordingly,” it states.
The report says the office of CEO, VDA had not initiated any constructional activity in close vicinity of Verinag garden.
Regarding the drainage system, it says the issue could be taken with the UEED department as they had the expertise in training proper drainage plants.
Admitting that there were encroachments in Nallah Sundran and Nallah Kukaranal, the CEO in the report says that it could be taken up with the Revenue department and I&FC department for identification of these encroachments.
After going through the status report, the bench closed down the litigation with the observation that a PIL was already pending before the court regarding encroachments near River Jhelum.
Earlier, the court had initiated suo moto cognisance of the issue after a communication was sent by an NGO, Greater Verinag Civil Society on June 12, 2019.
The communication had raised the issues of encroachment at the source of River Jhelum, dumping of garbage and other wastes besides inadequacy of drainage system.