HC seeks report on bio-diversity in Gulmarg

HC seeks report on bio-diversity in Gulmarg

Asks the wildlife warden to list all species, point out endangered and extinct species

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the government on Tuesdayto show a digital presentation on biodiversity of Gulmarg. The government, HC asked, should list endangered and extinct species, besides naming species that need to be protected.
The court also passed a direction to regional wildlife warden, Kashmir, to present all the details about flora and fauna of Gulmarg on during the next hearing, with exact number of animals of each species. The court asked the warden to put the information on the website so that general public is kept informed.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, remarked that biodiversity is a great treasure and cannot be taken for granted. The court said that environment as a whole needs to be saved as species depend on each other for survival.
“Beauty of Kashmir is that every kind of tourism is available here be it adventure, art, nature or any other kind of tourism, but we are not improving. On contrary we are day by day degrading our environment,” chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said.
Meanwhile a report presented by state counsel on air quality showed that pollution has increased and advanced measures have to be taken to check the air quality regularly.
The court directed State pollution control board to check air quality frequently and asked for updated reports on next hearing. The court observed that fragile environment can be safeguarded only by increasing forest cover and wiping out of all non-biodegradable waste from Gulmarg.
Despite ban orders on use of polythene and plastic, no action is being taken against the violators. The state counsel informed court that for carrying 10 kg of polythene, Rs 4100 was levelled as fine. The court observed that the ban be strictly implemented to stop people from using polythene.
The Gulmarg Development Authority and the State Pollution Control Board were directed to stop people – whether tourists or local residents – from carrying polythene. Also, if someone was carrying water in a plastic bottle, the departments should make sure that they do not throw it into streams. “We have to make Gulmarg as polythene and plastic free zone,” the court observed.
Meanwhile, the counsel appearing for Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation submitted a report before court that commercial operations project has been started after taking all the safety measures. All the points leading from Gulmarg to Kungdoori and further to Afarwat have been inspected for safety and latest equipment installation.
The court directed both the authorities to ‘clearly indicate’ the manner of garbage and waste disposal in the status report to be filed within two weeks.
The PIL was filed in 2012 by Mohammad Rafiq Zargarn, seeking directions for protection of fragile environment of Gulmarg.

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