On the aspect of providing safe drinking water to the general masses, the High Court Tuesday warned State authorities that if status with respect to the dismantling of toilets on river Jhelum is not filed within one day, the court will initiate contempt proceedings against the concerned officers.
The division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar while coming down heavily on State counsel BA Dar for not filing the status report with respect to dismantling of toilets on river Jhelum, said that such lethargic approach adopted by concerned authorities is not acceptable.
The direction came after Court noted that no status report has been filed by the State with regard to the issue since November 27.
Earlier, Court had directed the State authorities to dismantle the lavatories on the banks of river Jhelum after Pollution Control Board (PCB) filed a report which revealed ‘sorry state of affairs.’
The PCB report mentions the details of lavatories on the banks of river Jhelum which the court said cannot be permitted to function as human waste flows directly into the water bodies resulting in many water-borne diseases.
In this connection, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the state government to ensure these toilets and lavatories pointed out by the PCB shall be forthwith dismantled.
The court had also directed the state government to make a fresh action plan for making fresh toilets at a prescribed distance from the water bodies as provided in the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan within a period of eight weeks.
In this regard, Secretary Home and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) was directed to check out the reports from the local municipal councils and make a comprehensive report and submit the same before the court on next date of hearing.