HC directs Govt to file status report on water bodies’ conservation

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept  12: High Court today asked the Government to file status report about the creation of 225 posts for closure of Watershed Development project to make functional the Wullar Conservation Management Authority.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, hearing a Public Interest Litigation on conservation of water bodies, granted the Government some time to place on record the details of such staff which might be drawn for closure of the project.
The court observed the Advocate General has not able to show the number of employees who could be drawn from the aforesaid project. “Nor any light has been drawn on their qualification to deal with the Wullar Lake project,” the Bench observed.
Regarding the removal of willow trees from the lake, a compliance report submitted by the Government mentioned willow trees are removed in phased manner and is on going in Bandipora forest division.
The report also pointed out that felling of willow trees has been completed in two compartments of Banyari.
After examining the report, the court observed that it trusts the report on felling of the trees because CEO Wullar Conservation Management Authority has mentioned that report has been prepared after taking inputs from the representatives of Kashmir University.
The Bench also inclined to accept any further expert on the project for the lake after Advocate Makroo the department of Natural Resources Conservation is facing shortage of staff, saying that many experts from Kashmir University may not be conducive.
The court directed the Government to draw an expert from another university like South or Western States.
The court also sought status report for creation of one authority which would deal with all the water bodies in the state after amicus Z A Shah suggested it to the court.
The Bench directed the Government to file status report with regard to all aforesaid issues about conservation of water bodies a week before the adjourned date.


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