HC seeks explanation on fish deaths in Jhelum tributary

HC seeks explanation on fish deaths in Jhelum tributary

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir high court on Tuesday asked the director of fisheries department to submit a report on the causes of a huge number of fish that floated ashore in a Jhelum tributary.
The department was asked to file status report about the remedial measures taken to save the species of the fish before the next hearing. Amicus curie, Nadeem Qadri informed the court that although the incident of fish mysteriously floating ashore took place two days back, the authorities did not do anything about the cause and effect of the incident. Even the people were seen collecting the dying fish, which may pose a great risk to health in case the cause of dying of fish is the increasing pollution level in the river.
Hearing the PIL on River Jehlum, the division bench headed by chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that whether it is by pollution or other cause, the state must answer as it directly deals with the environment.
Meanwhile, direction was passed to Chief Secretary to appoint any secretary of government as nodal officer within one week for coordinating between different departments to establish linkage or network between river Jehlum, streams and lakes.
The court also directed that there should be a concrete plan of action on river Jehlum with proper timeline.
The state counsel BA Dar informed the court that in Monday’s cabinet meeting, it has been said that the commissioner secretary to government has constituted a committee under Water Regulation Act, 2006 and it would be notified very shortly. The court directed the government to notify it as soon as possible.
Amicus curie Nadeem Qadri stated before the court that despite ban on all constructions on river Jehlum, the construction has not stopped. He submitted that a hotel has come up in Rajbagh near Jhelum and also in Kulgam police have carried construction on the water body. In choontkul also, constructions are going on.
He said, “We cannot be so blind that we don’t see things. In all, we have reached nowhere.”
The court after hearing Advocate Qadri, directed the state to file report on next hearing.
A compliance report by secretary disaster management J&K was submitted before court.
The court after examining the report said, “It is evident that J&K disaster Management has prepared disaster policy and same has been submitted before government for approval. We direct Amicus curie to examine and put his suggestions before court on next hearing.”