ANANTNAG: The famed Thajwas glacier in Sonmarg is receding at an alarming rate of three square kilometers every year, department of earth sciences at Kashmir University told the high court on Wednesday.
In a report submitted before the court, the department said that 338 square kilometes of the glacier have receded over the last three decades. The report said that unabated pollution from motor vehicles and burning of woods have drastically added black carbon to the glacier which has resulted in its melting. There is immediate need to end the vehicular traffic and burning of woods besides removal of makeshift tea-stalls.
Hearing the PIL on Sonmarg, the division bench headed by Chief Justice
Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that it was necessary and important to save Thajwas Glacier before it leads to destruction.
“You have a heaven and this heaven needs maintenance and care. Otherwise it will become a hell,” Chief Justice Ahmed said.
Amicus Curie, Advocate Nadeem Qadri regretted that conservation of Thajwas glacier was delayed. “It is in the interest of common masses that we take these issues seriously and rectify our mistakes as soon as possible,” he said adding that besides shrinking of Thajwas glacier, Sindh River is also polluted to a large extent. “There is not a single dustbin in Sonmarg or a flower grown. There is no proper solid waste management treatment. Everything goes in rivers and in the premises of Golden Meadow.”
The court later directed the state to address these issues and
present a report on next hearing. Meanwhile, court directed Advocate general Jahangir Iqbal Ganaie to submit map and satellite images of Tourist parking on next hearing.
The court observed that there is no regulation of vehicular traffic. What is the traffic status, we want to know. The parking has been in a mess, there is no regulation. People are parking wherever they want. Chief Executive Officer, Sonmarg Development Authority was present before the court and was directed to file report on solid waste management treatment besides implementation of ban on polythene on the next hearing. The court also directed state pollution control board to submit report on Ambient Air quality specifically to the location denoted on a map. The court also passed direction to SSP Ganderbal to provide assistance and cooperation to the local authorities in implementing the court orders.
Meanwhile, Nadeem Qadri sought more time to submit points of action on Sonamarg and court granted the same to be submitted on the next hearing.