SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary and several other senior officers of the state administration appeared before high court on Saturday and assured it to establish a permanent mechanism for preserving and protecting the Dal Lake, a flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.
The Chief Secretary B R Sharma also assured a division bench of the court headed by Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar that earnest effort will be made by all the stake holders to protect and preserve the world famous water body.
The state’s highest civil officer said that a monitoring and oversee committee headed by him would be constituted by issuing executive order.
He also assured that state will not be found lagging behind in taking all necessary steps in the light of observations made by the Court for protecting and preserving the lake.
B. B. Viyas, financial commissioner, highlighted the measures which are to be adopted and pursued for effective preservation of the lake.
“We hope and trust that permanent mechanism will be brought into existence by issuing of Government Order within two weeks time from today,” the division bench, also comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said and asked the government to file copy of the government order alongwith the status report before the next date of the hearing in the Public Interest Ligation.
The PIL, filed in 2002 by one Syed Tahir Iqbal, has been posted for further consideration in the week commencing May 9.
Last week, the court had expressed unhappiness over the non-appearance of the Chief Secretary and commissioner secretaries of finance, Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD). Their presence was required “to settle the matter about preservation of Dal Lake once for all.”
Others who appeared along with the Chief Secretary include Commissioner Secretaries of H&UDD, law, tourism, secretary finance, director skims, vice chairman lawda and member secretary of pollution control board.
However, joint secretary of tourism and culture, government of India, was not present as was directed by the court.
Assistant Solicitor General of India S A Makroo submitted that the joint secretary has send a communication in which he has stated that some authority from National River Directorate, GoI would require to be summoned for providing effective assistance in the case.
“At this moment we defer summoning of these officers. The officers, however, would cooperate with Committee which will be constituted by the state government, the court said, adding that the authorities will be duty bound to render assistance to the state government to ensure that Dal Lake “is not only preserved and protected but its lost glory is brought back.”
The division bench also put on record appreciation for D. C. Raina, Advocate General and his associates for rendering valuable assistance to the court and showing personal concern in taking effective steps for preservation and protection of world famous lake.