Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed government to disclose stand on a petition calling for refraining J&K Milk Producers Co-operative limited from upgrading its milk plant at Cheshmashahi, an ecological fragile area on the foothills of Zabarwan mountain range here.
A division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and B S Walia asked the additional advocate general, N H Shah, to come up with the instructions next week.
The petition has been filed by the former Bar Association president, advocate N A Ronga and he claims that if the capacity of the plant is taken up from 20 TLPD to 50TLPD would have “far reaching consequences” on the environment of the area.
“The whole area in and around the site is green belt where all developmental, industrial or commercial activities are not permissible, allowed under master plan and under the municipal laws,” he said, maintaining the up-gradation of the plant will be “illegal”.
The milk plant has Cheshmashahi garden, Parimahal and botanical garden in its vicinity and according to Ronga, the milk processing involves lot of water.
“According to experts, the water removed from milk can contain considerable amount of organic products and minerals.”
Besides, he said, cleaning of the plant results in caustic waste water “which will have an adverse impact on the surrounding environment.”
“The biodegradation consumes lot of oxygen and it will affect the aquatic life around Cheshmashahi and other adjoining gardens. The material will finally go into Dal Lake and have disastrous effect on its water.”
Another major constituent of the diary factory waste water is lactose which promotes sewage fungus and Ronga says that it will have disastrous effects on springs and waterways around the milk plant.
At the same time, the petitioner has no objections if the plant is set up at any industrial area where such activities are allowed.
The J&K Milk Producers Co-operative limited, which came into existence in 2004 after state government inked memorandum of understanding with Gujarat cooperative milk federation ltd (Amul), has already invited tenders for expanding the plant. The present capacity of plant is 20 thousand litres and its products include snow cap toned milk, ghee and curd etc.
Ronga seeks directions by the court to quash the NIT (tender) issued on January 28 by J&K Milk Producers Co-operative limited.
He also seeks directions to Chief Secretary, Commissioner secretaries of agriculture, housing and urban development department and other officials to refrain the J&K Milk Producers Co-operative limited from expanding the plant.