Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to repair the caved in embankment of the river Jehlum near Lasjan which was collapsed on January 24 immediately.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the department of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) to repair the damaged embankment and submit photographic evidence of the same on the next date of hearing.
A 200-metre portion of the embankment at Lasjan Bypass collapsed on January 24 into the river Jhelum.
The matter was later brought to the notice of the court by environmental lawyer Nadeem Qadri.
Advocate Qadri said before court that on his visit to the spot with the Director, Disaster Management, he talked with the locals of the area and other stakeholders.
He said before the court that ‘stretch caved in due to the lifting of silt from the river bank by heavy machinery which has severely weakened the banks of the river Jhelum.”
He added that the movement of heavy trucks carrying silt through the area is another reason behind the weakening of the river bank. “And also the embankment was damaged in 2014 floods,” he said.
Appearing for the state, Additional Advocate General B A Dar argued that embankment has collapsed due to the seepage of water from the road and residential side.”
While hearing both sides, the court observed that there is no denying that the embankment has collapsed.
The court said, “Whatever be the reason of the collapse, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department shall immediately repair the embankment. There shall be no movement of heavy machinery for silt extraction, but for repairing of the embankment, machinery can be used.”
The court was also informed that the Deputy Commissioner is enquiring about the matter and the probe is likely to be completed in 15 days.
“We are informed that Deputy Commissioner is enquiring the matter. Probe report shall be produced before court before the next date of hearing, once it is ready,” said the court. The matter was further again listed for hearing on February 7.