SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has allowed the government to proceed with steps for integrated development of Hazratbal shrine under National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Drive (PRASAD) scheme.
The directions by a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey followed submissions by states Additional Advocate General, M A Beigh, that if orders are not issued by the court, then money released for it will be lapsed.
He said the government has already initiated steps for integrated development of Hazratbal shrine under PRASAD, a government of India scheme which aims to create spiritual centres for tourism development within India.
“In view of the situation, we allow the concerned authority to proceed ahead with the proposal of Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine,” the division bench said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation.
Meanwhile the court expressed hope that monitoring committee will continue to take steps to preserve the water bodies more particularly Dal Lake which it said is the crown in the jewel of Kashmir otherwise known as heaven on earth.
Headed by Chief Secretary, the committee comprises 11 top officers from various departments besides senior advocate Zaffar Ahmed Shah, who is also amicus curie in the PIL, instituted in 2002 for protection of the Lake, one of the endangered water bodies in Kashmir.
The court also directed its registry to serve copy of the report by court commissioners—Mohammad Shafi Khan (retired session judge) and Abdul Hamid Bhat (former SSP)—to the monitoring committee “which will consider the report and expedite the decisions wherever required to be taken especially about acquisition of land.”
Meanwhile, the court has sought response to a report by enquiry officer Syed Javed Ahmad, into the complaint by a DySP with LAWDA that PDP minister Imran Raza Ansari “abused and threatened” him for taking action against illegal constructions in a prohibited area around the Dal Lake.
Ahmad, a retired Principal District and Sessions Judge, filed the report in a sealed cover.
“We have perused the report which is handed over to Jawad Ahmad, registrar judicial of this court in the open court who shall keep the same in a sealed cover. He shall however provide copy to the report counsel representing (Ansari) who will be at liberty to file his response,” the court said and ordered listing of the PIL, filed in 2002 for preserving Dal Lake, in 3 week of February.