SRINAGAR: The J&K high court has expressed optimism over the shifting of the first-batch of 76 houseboats from Dal Lake to Dole Demb area as per the schedule fixed by the government.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi also directed the government to inform the court about the cabinet’s decision on the shifting of all the houseboats to the Dole Demb by October 27.
As the hearing started, Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganie submitted fresh status report, stating that important steps have been taken by the government to make Dole Demb project a reality.
The project involving shifting of the House Boats from the present location to Dole Demb area stands approved by Planning and Development Department as also Finance Department.
Ganie said that project will be shortly placed before the Cabinet for final approval and thereafter after steps will be taken for implementation of the project on ground.
“Let the matter be placed before the Cabinet in its next meeting (tentatively scheduled on October 19) so that final approval is accorded before the adjourned date and compliance reported accordingly,” the court said.
It also expressed hope that the first batch of 76 houseboats would be shifted to Dole Demb area as per schedule fixed.
“LAWDA on September 24, 2014, was directed to notify in advance proposed phase-wise schedule of shifting of Houseboats to Dole Demb area with sufficient details, so that houseboat owners may he made aware of schedule well in advance, enabling them to organize their affairs accordingly. The advance publication of schedule would also rule out last minute objection or impediment in timely implementation of scheduled,” the court said and directed the LAWDA to publish the shifting schedule with particulars of houseboats to be shifted in a local daily, immediately after the project finds approval by Cabinet.
Meanwhile Inspector General of Police Kashmir filed compliance report, indicating that that police force available to LAWDA has been strengthened by deploying 15 personnel. Besides, the IGP said that a motorboat has been attached with Enforcement Wing of LAWDA to help it intensify patrolling of lake and check unauthorized encroachments.
The Kashmir’s top cop also informed the court that a proposal to install CCTV camera at appropriate places around the Dal Lake Area for checking the transportation of unauthorized building material is under consideration of the police department.
“We hope that a decision in this regard would be taken well before next date of hearing and effort made to install CCTV Cameras at identified places,” the court said.
The status report, the court said, does not indicate whether police check-points have been established at all entry points to prevent transportation of building material to the Lake area.
“Let such check-posts be set up within one week,” the court said that directed the IGP to file compliance reported by next date of hearing on October 27.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by Syed Tahir Iqbal, then a law student, in July 2002, to save the lake.