Govt told to submit action taken report on relocation by Oct 1
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Saturday directed the Additional Advocate General (AAG), BA Dar, to place before the court an action taken report on the re-settlement of persons residing or carrying on business on the banks or inside the Dal Lake by October 1.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta passed the direction after hearing a plea by Hotel Heaven Canal, which was closed down on June 3, 2019, for polluting the Dal Lake.
The petitioner’s counsel, Shuja-ul-Haq, submitted that the petitioner had no intention of running the hotel at the location if it would cause pollution in the Dal Lake, however an immediate policy decision must be taken by the government to enable the petitioner to continue with his business.
It was further submitted that the closure of the hotel adversely affects the livelihood not only of the petitioner but several other persons who were employed there.
The court after hearing the submissions said, “On the same issue, we have also passed an order in PIL No. 159/2002, Syed Iqbal Tahir Geelani v. State of J&K and others, on 25th of August, 2020, where we noted that the entire exercise which the Committee of Experts is undertaking would be brought to a naught if the aspect of relocation is not efficiently and urgently addressed.
“We had asked the Chief Secretary to look into the matter and appoint a Committee of officers and the Nodal Department which would be responsible for entire rehabilitation work. This Committee shall prepare the details of all necessary steps and the timelines within which the rehabilitation of the relocates from the Dal Lake shall be completed,” the court said. “Let BA Dar file action taken report on this by or before 1 October, the next date of hearing,” the court directed.