File report on conversion of Srinagar parks into sports stadiums: HC to Govt

Srinagar: The J&K High Court directed the divisional commissioner Kashmir not to allow any kind of construction in the existing parks and gardens and file report about conversion of prominent parks into sports stadiums in Srinagar.
The court questioned how Sher-e-Kashmir Park, Polo Ground Park, TRC Park, Church Lane Park were converted into sports stadiums.
“The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, shall seek a report from the Director, Floriculture, Kashmir, as to how the parks have been converted into sports stadiums and place the same before this court by the next date of hearing. He shall ensure that no construction activity is carried out in these identified sites and stadiums till further orders,” the court said.
Hearing the PIL on maintenance of parks and gardens, the division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur recorded in the order that number of deficiencies related to the maintenance of parks and gardens exist so it is necessary for authorities to put in their efforts.
“The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir shall file a detailed report furnishing therein the list of existing parks, gardens in and around the vicinity of Srinagar as well as the details of proposed new parks, gardens, if any, coming up in the said area by the next date of hearing on March 4,” the court directed.
The divisional commissioner was further directed that in the said report, he shall also inform about the status of the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, Srinagar, with reference to allotment of land to the J&K Cricket Association.
Meanwhile Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir was directed to assist Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, as and when required for ensuring implementation of the directions passed by this court for stopping of construction work.
Amicus curiae in the matter, Faisal Qadri was also directed by court to personally visit the existing parks and gardens as well as the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium and file report about the condition of the same by the next date of hearing along with his suggestions, if any.
Earlier, a letter written by Justice (Rtd.) Bilal Nazki which was later on treated as PIL highlighted lack of parks and green spaces in the summer capital of the state and drew the attention of the court to need for identifying and earmarking area in each locality of Srinagar for development of a park/green space/urban forest and set a time line within which such work is undertaken and completed by authorities.

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