HC asks govt to submit draft action plan for green spaces
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Thursday directed Chief Secretary of the state to submit the finalised draft action plan on parks and gardens in the court.
Earlier the Chief Town Planner, Kashmir informed the court that the draft action plan for developing parks and gardens in the state has been submitted to the Chief Secretary.
Hearing a PIL on need of parks and green spaces, the division bench comprising Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura said there was need to identify green spaces and develop eco-friendly zones.
“We need to identify more and more green spaces all around so that people can relax and more importantly we have to develop eco-friendly zones to curb alarming pollution levels,” Justice Sudhakar said.
The court had taken cognizance of a letter by former chief justice and incumbent chairperson of State Human Rights Commission Justice (r) Bilal Nazki regarding need for earmarking areas for parks and green space in Srinagar city.
Treating the letter as a Public Interest Litigation, the Chief Justice had arrayed commissioner secretaries of tourism, housing and urban development department, director floriculture, deputy commissioner Srinagar, VC SDA and commissioner SMC as respondents to the PIL.
The letter highlights lack of parks and green spaces in the summer capital of the state and drew the attention of the court to need for identifying and earmarking area in each locality of Srinagar for development of a park, green space or urban forest and set a time line within which such work is undertaken and completed by the authorities.
It calls for identifying encroachments of earmarked conservation zones for parks and green spaces and forthwith clearance of such encroachments. The letter calls for avoiding “at all costs”, permissions for conversion of land from conservation zone reserved for parks, green spaces or urban forest to residential or commercial establishments.
“The issues by the former chief justice in his letter are very important to each and every resident of the cities of Srinagar and Jammu. The State Government, it appears has ignored the pertinent issues raised by a dignitary of the status of former Chief Justice, which is clear from the facts that the government has not even cared to respond to the communication of the high court,” the court had observed.