HC for on spot inspection to check waste dumping in Wular lake

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court to go for on-spot inspection to check whether the municipal solid/biomedical waste is being dumped on the banks of Wular Lake.
The court said, “Given the nature of controversy and the contentions of the counsel for the petitioners, a court visit may be necessary.”
The court directed M A Chashoo, Additional Advocate General (AAG) to examine the possibility thereof keeping in view the current situation in mind in consultation with the Registrar General of the court.
The court also directed the Central and Jammu and Kashmir government to file a status report on the matter by the next date of hearing.
.The plea moved by advocate Shafkat Nazir sought immediate stoppage of dumping of municipal solid waste/ biomedical waste on the land (Ramsar Wetland) contained under survey No. 90 situated at Dharnambal/Ningli Tarzoo Sopore which falls within the delineated periphery pillars of Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) and also within the limits of Hygam-Ningli-Tarzoo Tourism Development Authority.
Advocate Nazir representing Central Auqaf Committee Tarzoo submitted before court that in the month of March, 2020 Municipal council, Sopore started dumping waste in close vicinity of Wular Lake
“Both biodegradable and non-biodegradable and biomedical wastes were dumped right on the banks/ boundary of Wular lake in the midst of tourist huts and near the prestigious Wular barrage/ navigation project which is of international importance,” counsel Nazir said.
While adding, that the solid waste is being dumped without following the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the whole place has been converted into a stinky swamp.
“The water from the Wular Lake and the rain water washes away the garbage and filth into the Wular Lake and river Jhelum and also into the premises of tourist huts. The area which was earlier identified as the only recreational park for the whole area was surprisingly converted into a dumping site without following the rules or taking any permission/NOC from the Pollution Control Board or WUCMA,” the plea submitted.
It was further submitted that the Department of Soil and Water Conservation in terms of communication dated 09-03-2020 has mentioned that the Municipal Council Sopore is attempting to encroach the premises of the nursery land and has proposed dumping of solid waste within the delineated periphery of WUCMA and the plantation nursery.
“On the basis of the above said communication which was also forwarded to Divisional Forest officer, Bandipora. It was recommended that an FIR should be lodged against the Municipal Council Sopore for such encroachment,” Counsel Nazir rued in the petition.
It was also said through the plea that the Regional Director J&K Pollution Control Board in terms of Notice dated 15.06.2020 has reprimanded Municipal Council, Sopore for dumping solid waste within Wular Lake demarcated area at Ningli/ Tarzoo Sopore and cautioned of serious legal action if same is not stopped immediately. “However, the illegal dumping of waste still continues,” Counsel Nazir said.
It was pleaded that the respondents be directed to develop the area in a planned manner given its huge tourism potential while taking care of the environmental sensitivities.
“A direction may also be issued to the respondents to identify a proper place for dumping of municipal waste away from the residential and environmentally sensitive areas and develop the same in terms of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016,” the petition sought.
Wular Lake is the largest fresh water lake in India and second largest in whole Asia. It is also a notified Ramsar wetland. The size of the Wular Lake varies seasonally from 30-260 sq. Kms. Wular Lake is the defined ecosystem of numerous species of flora and fauna including Carp Fish, Water chestnuts and lotus stem (Nadru). The river Jhelum enters the Wular Lake at Bandipora and then leaves it at Sopore. For the conservation and preservation of Wular lake the ‘Wular Conservation and Management Authority’ (WUCMA) has been set up by the Govt.

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