HC seeks action plan for reconnecting Jhelum with other water bodies

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Srinagar: The J&K High Court Wednesday sought a “concrete” action plan from state authorities for re-establishing network of other water bodies with River Jehlum and also sought compliance of its orders with regard to conservation and protection of wetlands in the whole state.
Remarking that nothing seems to be done on ground, the court directed authorities to comply with the directions properly.
Amicus curie, Nadeem Qadri informed the court that the authorities have not done much with respect to protection and preservation of wetlands of state.
He said that with respect to re-establishment of water bodies networking with River Jehlum, the authorities have miserably failed, and referred to previous court orders passed on October 24 last year and August 28 this year.
The division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed state authorities to comply with directions and sought compliance report of its directions referred to by the amicus curie.
On August 28, in a suo-moto cognizance, on the instructions of Supreme Court about preservation and protection of wetlands, the high court had issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Climatic Change to inform the court on the issue of constitution of state wetland authority.
The Government of India has identified 2 lakh wetlands in the country and Supreme Court has directed all states for new wetland rules and expressed urgency for the management of wetlands.
As per the ‘Atlas Ecology and Remote Sensing’ of the State there are 1230 wetlands identified in the state under ‘Ramsar Conservation Sites’ and under Rule 5 of the concerned rules, an authority has to be in place for management of wetlands.
On October 24 2017, the Court had said that the authorities have failed to re-establish the networking of streams, lakes, wetlands with River Jhelum, and directed the Chief Secretary of the State to appoint a Nodal Officer for the purpose.