HC issues notices to Union Tourism Ministry, others

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 31: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting failure of State to protect Mansar-Surinsar Lakes, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta has issued notices to Union Tourism Ministry, State through Secretary Tourism Department, Directorate of Tourism Jammu and Chief Executive Officer Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority returnable within three weeks.
After hearing Advocate Sumit Nayyar for the PIL filed by Sawan Nayyar, DB observed, “two issues have been highlighted in the petition. The first pertains to the failure on the part of the State to protect the lakes of Mansar-Surinsar, which have some relevance from the religious point of view also”.
“It has been submitted that the Government has shown complete apathy and neglect with the result the lakes receive uninterrupted flow of effluents, soil waste, garbage and other organic material from the adjoining localities thus polluting the lakes”, the DB further observed, adding “the second issue pertains to discrimination being meted out to the areas of Surinsar and Mansar from tourism point of view”.
“Insofar as the second issue is concerned, the court cannot enter in that aspect of the matter which is squarely within the domain of the executive. How a particular area has to be developed and how much funding is to be allocated for attaining the desired result is not a matter for this court to decide”, the DB said.
“However, keeping in view the averments made in the petition, we feel that some intervention may be required to ensure that the lakes are protected from the pollution”, the DB said while issuing notices.