Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed concerned deputy commissioners to remove all encroachments along the river Sindh which, flowing through Ganderbal district, joins the Jhelum between Sumbal and Srinagar.
Disposing of a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed the deputy commissioners to complete the process within a period of four weeks.
“In so far prayer seeking direction upon the respondents (government) to prevent the pollution of river Sindh (sic), the petitioner is permitted to approach the J&K Pollution Control Board by making his grievance and it is for (PCB) to consider the application as and when filed and take appropriate action in accordance with law,” the court said.
It was while hearing the PIL that the court last year stayed all constructions on the Jhelum down from Verinagar in south Kashmir. The PIL was filed by advocate Qazi Rashid Shamas and he had alleged that structures were being built on the river-bed at three places — Mamar, Murgund and Kangan — in violation of various statutes. “If immediate steps for retrieving the river from encroachments and removing illegal constructions were not undertaken, the river environment and the surrounding ecology face threats and hazards,” he had said.
Qazi also stressed that constructions pose a danger to a sanctuary for hatching trout fish, located on the river near Kangan.