HC calls for ban on use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides in Dal Lake

HC calls for ban on use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides in Dal Lake
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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday called for a blanket ban on the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in Dal Lake. The direction was passed in view of a fresh report submitted by the Committee of Experts (CoE) suggesting that usage of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in farming had badly deteriorated the health of the lake.
The court also said that it was quite unfortunate that the state had not informed the court about implementation of recommendations made by the CoE.
“This is intolerable and not acceptable. We are not sitting here only to see reports of committee of experts. State needs to take action,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar to the state counsel.
The court asked the state counsel why the recommendations of the Committee of Experts had not been implemented. “It is an irony that since the last detailed order passed in December in this case, no report has come from the state. We need on-ground implementation, only then will things move forward,” Chief Justice Gita Mittal said.
“We direct State Counsel BA Dar to file action taken report (ATR) on the issues raised by Committee of Experts in reference to reviving and saving Dal Lake within three weeks,” the bench ordered.
Departments of Pollution Control Board, Revenue, Tourism, Horticulture and Agriculture were directed to take action on the recommendations and suggestions made by the CoE.
“We direct secretaries of all these departments to ensure prompt action in response to CoE’s recommendations,” the court said.
The court directed Department of Revenue to immediately identify land and rehabilitate people living on the Dal Lake. The court directed that this issue should be communicated also to VC-LAWDA and Committee of Experts within two weeks.
The court noted in its order that all necessary facilities should be provided at rehabilitation sites. It directed the Committee of Experts to visit the proposed rehabilitation site to check the facilities available.
The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) is already under court directions to take measures for saving Dal Lake, but untreated sewerage is still pumped directly into the lake besides open drainages making their way into the lake waters.
The High Court is hearing a PIL on Dal Lake for the past 16 years. In this time, 13 volumes of orders have been passed by the court but the problems, as per the Committee of Experts, still remain.