Jammu and Kashmir High Court (HC) Monday took pulled up State government for not complying with its orders.
On previous directions, court had directed authorities to immediately demarcate forests, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves. It had also asked for formulating a plan for connections between water bodies with wetlands.
The division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Alok Aradhe observed that government hasn’t made any effort in this regard.
Justice Durrez said, “It appears that the concerned authorities are not complying with the court orders. We must remind them that court is not powerless and can pass strict actions against them.”
Granting the authorities a final opportunity, court directed them to comply with the orders within 10 days.
Previously, Commissioner Secretary Forest was appointed as nodal authority to ensure that demarcation be carried out.
“We direct Commissioner Secretary Forest Department to be present in the court on next hearing,” ordered the court.
Meanwhile, environmental lawyer Nadeem Qadri rose the issues of Padshahi canal, an age-old irrigation passage which lies at Nallah Sindh near Wayil Bridge in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.
Advocate Qadri submitted that the canal is fast reducing and only three to five feet of the canal is left.
The court also asked the authorities to examine and report about Padshahi canal in the next hearing.
Regarding Hokarsar Lake, he said that accumulation of weeds has stopped migratory birds to come to water pools.
He further said that during last few days three birds have been poached in Dal Lake.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Peer Noor-ul-Haq, seeking directions to remove encroachments to restore Padshahi canal.
Later, High Court expanded the purview of the PIL and issued directions for safeguarding the river Jhelum, the lifeline of Kashmir Valley.