Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), asking it to analyse problem areas rather than beat about the bush.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durez Ahmad also directed LAWDA to ensure Dal Lake and its peripheries are polythene and plastic free.
“You have to analyze what are the problem areas. Our whole idea is to put on right track rather than beating about bush,” the division bench also comprising Justice M K Hanjura said after perusal of a report regarding water samples.
“Nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients are out of required permissible limits. Ph value is higher which means water is alkaline. You have to apply your mind on how it can be controlled. with the increase of temperature, what happens to these nutrients. These increase with increase of temperature in Dal Lake”.
The court also questioned LAWDA over efficiency of Sewerage Treatment Plants.
“Don’t allow sewerage into Dal as it is the reason for spreading weeds and enhancing its growth,” the court said and asked the LAWDA how it determines efficiency of STPS.
“We are trying to diagnose the problem and only then treatment can be given. The picture emerging now is that sewerage adds to the Dal nutrients in the form of nitrates and phosphates and none of the STPs is working with the desired results,” the court observed and asked the LAWDA to cut the sources rather than the weed.
“So far things have been going on in unscientific way. Condition of Nigeen is even worse. Every Kashmiri tells now, please save the Dal. But fact of the matter is quality of Dal water is very bad.
Anchar other lakes have already vanished as they are now only marshy lands”.
The court also directed authorities to find out the source that contaminates Cheshmashai spring.
It also warned the LAWDA authorities against non-implementation of its direction on getting Dal Lake and its peripheries polythene and plastic free.
“Should we issue contempt proceedings?” the court said. State counsel submitted that there are dustbins but people do not use them. “I will go myself to see the position. If anybody pollutes the lake then he should be punished,” the chief justice said. The court also emphasized on mass awareness about the demerits of polythene and plastic and asked the authorities to involve schools in this process also.
The division bench also perused the Court commissioner’s report produced before it in sealed cover. Subsequently, the court directed to LAWDA to respond by next date. The Court has also sought response to the visiting report of advocate Sajad Mir which highlights inaction. “State report with regard to the shifting of House Boats to Doledemb be also filed,” the court said.