HC disposes PIL on stone quarrying

Directs govt no extraction takes place in forests

RINAGAR: While disposing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on illegal stone quarrying, the J&K High Court on Monday directed the government to ensure no such illegal activity is carried within the forested area.
The direction came after senior Additional Advocate General (AAG) B A Dar submitted in the court that the stone quarrying within the forested zone of Jammu and Kashmir has been stopped and those dislocated in the process
have been rehabilitated. He said that alternative land at different sites have been allocated to them for carrying out quarrying activities.
The counsel also submitted that the public interest involved in the petition has been secured by the respondents and there is no point in keeping the litigation pending.
The court after hearing the counsel expressed satisfaction with the argument and closed the PIL by directing all the authorities concerned to ensure that no stone quarrying is allowed within the forest area of Jammu and
“We also make it clear in case the petitioner or for that matter any other person has any further grievance as regards the illegal stone quarrying within the forest area, he shall be at liberty to approach the court again
in appropriate proceedings,” ordered the Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur.
Meanwhile in an allied matter, the inhabitants of village Brah in Shangus alleged that a big chunk of land is being used for grazing purpose by villagers for their cattle. However, the private respondents are illegally
extracting stones at the site violating the directions of various courts of the country, including the Supreme Court.
To this, Dar submitted that the grievance projected by the petitioners in the petition stands already redressed by the respondents by stopping the illegal quarrying on the state land.
“…The petitioners bring any grievance as regards illegal quarrying being done on the state land within the knowledge of the respondents, the respondents will take all possible steps for ensuring stoppage of the same in
terms of the rules,” he recorded in the court.
The court while disposing the matter directed petitioners that if they still have any grievance on illegal quarrying, they shall approach the concerned authorities for seeking redressal of the same.
“Upon any such request made by the petitioners, the respondents shall consider the same and pass appropriate orders in accordance with rules and also in keeping with the directions passed by the Supreme Court on the
subject,” the court directed.

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