Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday directed state authorities to immediately carry out demarcation of wetlands so that
Jhelum and other water bodies can be interconnected to prevent 2014-ike floods.
The court passed directions to the commissioner secretary forest to act as the nodal authority between different departments to ensure that demarcation is carried out immediately for wetland reserves, wildlife
sanctuaries, conservation reserves and wildlife forests, with use of image sensing technology. The court asked for a report to be submitted on the next hearing.
The court directed the commissioner secretary PHE/I&FC department to submit an action plan on the next date of hearing.
Hearing the PIL filed by Peer Noor-ul-Haq, the division bench headed by Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that loose interconnection of river Jhelum with wetlands,
deforestation, and no demarcation of wildlife reserves were the major causes of floods. It observed that deforestation was directly linked with the accumulation of slit in the river.
“We have to check the root cause of the problem. There is a need to study how the problem can be solved by following basics. We don’t want the 2014 floods again,” Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said.
The court directed the Disaster Management department to file an updated report including the events of 2014 floods on next date of hearing.
The court further observed that deforestation has to be stopped and uncontrolled grazing at high altitudes needs to be checked. It directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to check the same and file a status report on the next hearing.
On the previous hearing, the High Court had warned authorities against any lapse in ensuring complete drudging of river Jhelum and removal of encroachments along its course.