SRINAGAR: “Generations to come will have to pay the price for environmental degradation,” the J&K High Court remarked on Wednesday while coming down heavily on government officers for allowing the degradation of environment.
The court was hearing litigation with respect to preservation and protection of Sonmarg resort when it made these remarks. It noted that on many occasions permissions are obtained for renovation/ repairs but under the shield of such permissions so obtained, large-scale unauthorised constructions, expansions and encroachments are being effected.
The court said that most of these permissions are sought and carried out by persons who have no right on the lands at all.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta recorded that it is absolutely imperative to check this illegal activity as the unauthorised constructions in the eco-fragile area is irreversibly damaging the environment.
“The damage is such that it cannot be compensated monetarily, not only the present populace but the generations to come will have to pay the price for the environmental degradation,” the bench said.
The court directed that if any person wants permission for renovation/repairs, he/she must supply an affidavit outlining that he/she is not illegally occupying/ in possession of any public land/ forest land.
The court also directed that if the property is on lease, then details of payments of the charges with copies of the receipts be furnished.
A certificate should also be attached from the Deputy Commissioner and DFO concerned showing that the land is not public land or forest land.
Photography and videography of the exterior and interior building should be carried out while a copy of original sanctioned plan must be furnished.
The concerned authorities at all times have the authority to undertake inspection of the properties where permission for renovation/repairs is granted.
The court also directed that in no case will permissions be granted to persons having nor right, title or interest to occupy the land in question.
Meantime, the court also directed the Chief Executive Officer, Sonmarg Development Authority and Housing and Urban Development Department to place the action taken reports pursuant to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Bye laws, details of fines which have been covered under its provisions.
“Such reports be filed on quarterly basis and the first report be filed within four weeks,” the bench directed.
The court will again hear the matter on 25 November.