HC notice to Environment Ministry on state wetland authority

HC notice to Environment Ministry on state wetland authority
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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Ministry of Environment and Climatic Change through its secretary to inform the court on the issue of the constitution of a state wetland authority.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe issued the notice while taking suo motu cognizance of the Supreme Court’s instructions on an issue regarding preservation and protection of wetlands.
Amicus Curiae Nadeem Qadri informed court that the central government has identified two lakh wetlands in the country and that the Supreme Court, on the concern of wetlands under ‘Ramsar Conservation Sites’, had directed all states for new wet land rules and had expressed the urgency of the management of wetlands. Till date, nothing has been done by the J&K state government in this connection.
Court was further informed that as per the atlas of the state prepared by the department of Ecology and Remote Sensing, there are 1,230 wetlands identified in Kashmir Province, but only four have been identified under the Ramsar Convention sites.
Amicus Qadri pleaded before court that there is not a single department or even nodal department in the whole government to oversee the implementation of rules. Giving reference to Rule 5 read with Environmental Protection Act, 1978, counsel Qadri pleaded that it is necessary that there should be a state wetland authority in place for the management and protection of wetlands.
The court in this view said, “It is necessary that Ministry of Environment be made party to the petition so that proper information may be brought before court.”