HC directive to LAWDA on dwellers

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept 17: The High Court today directed the residents living within the periphery of Dal lake, to approach individually to the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) for seeking repairs of their structures and the LAWDA has been directed to consider each case on merits in accordance with law.
The direction followed in a case filed by the residents of Ghat Shalimar situated in Dal lake area seeking the respondents either to take steps for their rehabilitation or to acquire their land or in the alternative to lift the ban imposed on construction in the area.
As far as the submission that the petitioner residents are not being allowed to repair their houses on the pretext that the area is within 200 meters of the Dal which is non construction zone as the ban has been imposed by the High Court.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice V C Koul said that each case has to be examined independently by the authority concerned.
“It is therefore appropriate if all those who are affected and wants any repairs to be carried out in their properties may approach the LAWDA in the prescribed form and make separate and independent applications in that regard and we expect that such applications shall be entertained and considered on their own merits in accordance with law”, DB directed.
The petition was filed in the representative capacity by the president of the said Committee. Court after perusal of the case said, it appears that the land of the said area was notified to be acquired under Section 4 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act 1990 on 24th March 1979.
Their counsel admitted that in pursuance thereof, no declaration under Section 6 has yet been made and there is no award which means that the land has not been actually acquired except for notifying the proposal to acquire it.
Court recorded that in the event, the land has not been acquired, there is no question of its de-notification or rehabilitation of the residents of the area.
There is no mention in the petition that the residents are being dislodged from the land under their occupancy. “In such circumstances, the relief of rehabilitation is meaningless”, the DB said.
However, Court has made it clear that if the residents want that the scheme of rehabilitation which is underway be considered and finally decided, then it is open for them to approach the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir in this regard who may take appropriate action as may be permissible in law.