HC takes serious note of outdated report filed by LAWDA on Dal

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Dec 24: The High Court has taken serious note of the outdated report filed by Lakes and Waterways Development Authority on Dal lake and warned of serious view of the non-compliance of court directions and expert committee reports.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar took serious note of the LAWDA for ignoring the Court directions on the lake especially on flow of effluents into the water body.
The HC said: “Despite peremptory directions made by us on 27th November 2018, the authorities have not moved a single step.”
“We have received a report dated 14th December 2018 under the signatures of Dr Abid Rashid Shah, Vice Chairman, LAWDA which would show that references is being made to certain steps taken in May 2018 or otherwise that much before the recommendations of the Committee of Experts were made or the interventions by this Court by the order dated 27th November 2018”, read the Court order.
The High Court said that authorities are expected to take robust steps to prevent activities which are detrimental for the lake. “The respondents are expected to take robust steps, especially stoppage of certain works which are detrimental to the very existence of the Dal lake. In addition, steps towards increasing public awareness and stopping sewage of effluents reaching the Dal lake have to be aggressively pursued by the respondents”, read the Court order.
Court said that the decision on the recommendations made by the Expert Committee have to be taken by the Government at highest level. “Be that as it may, we have received the second report of the Committee of experts which is dated 12th December 2018. The second report would show that certain suggestions and directions stand made by the Committee of experts on which a decision is to be taken by the Government authorities at the highest level”, the HC said.
“Let this report be forthwith placed before the Chief Secretary for taking a view on the recommendation of the Committee with regard to the assignment of work to the Vice-Chairman of LAWDA”, read the Court order.
Court directed compliance of its directions and suggestions made by expert committee strictly. “All authorities shall ensure strict compliance with the directions made by this Court on 27th November 2018 and by the Committee in both its reports”, court directed.
“We make it clear that so far as the recommendations of the Committee regarding stoppage of certain detrimental activity in and around the Dal lake is concerned, this Court will take an extremely serious view of non-compliance of the directions of this Court and the recommendations of the committee and if no steps are taken and timelines complied with, no detrimental activity will be permitted to continue in the next tourist season”, read the Court order.
The High Court took strong note of the suggestions made by LAWDA that no chemical fertilizers are used in the lake. It said that fertilizers whether chemical or organic are detrimental for lake and had directed against its use.
“We have also taken strong exception by the suggestion in the status report dated 12th December 2018 filed by Dr. Abid Rashid Shah, to the effect that chemical fertilizers are not being used by persons cultivating in the floating gardens but that they are using humus organic material. The issue is not whether chemical or organic fertilizers are used. Fertilizers of either nature would be extremely conducive to the growth of weeds. Chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers do not distinguish between weeds or vegetables. Therefore, any fertilizers added in the lake would facilitate growth of weeds as well. The lake does not need the infusion of fertilizers of any kind. The Committee has made very strong recommendations which must be heeded and implemented forthwith”, read the Court order.