Govt tells HC it has taken ‘adequate steps’ for maintenance of parks and gardens

Govt tells HC it has taken ‘adequate steps’ for maintenance of parks and gardens

Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Tuesday was informed by the government that adequate steps have been taken for the preservation and maintenance of parks and gardens in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

The court was informed through the status report filed by the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, stating that single-use plastic and other harmful materials have been strictly prohibited in parks and gardens.

It was also stated that signages have been installed in all the green spaces while toilet facility and Maali sheds for the gardeners have been established.

The reports further said that at both Srinagar and Jammu parks, well constructed pathways with ramp facilities for the disabled and physically challenged persons have been made.

It was stated that no illegal activity or encroachment is being carried out near or inside the green spaces while also submitting that enough number of benches, dustbins and signages have been installed.

The report also stated that compost pits have been constructed in many parks and gardens for the proper disposal of the garden wastes.

It was also stated that all gardens have been provided with grill or chain link fencing so that no vision is obstructed from the outside.

The bench of Sanjay Dhar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while taking the reports on record directed Amicus Curiae Faisal Qadri to file his response on the reports filed by the authorities.

Earlier, the court took cognizance of letters moved by Justice Rtd. Bilal Nazki, on May, 16, 2016 and July, 24, 2017 regarding lack of open/ green space in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar especially Srinagar which was later registered as PIL.

It stated that in cities of Delhi, Chandigarh and Gandhinagar, the green space per capita is 22 sq.mtrs, 55 sq.mtrs and 160 sq.mtrs respectively but in Jammu and Srinagar, it is dismal 1.86 sq.mtrs and 2.60 sq.mtrs respectively, as against the international standard laid down by the World Health Organization of minimum of 9 sq.mtrs per capita.

The letters suggested to identify the areas in Srinagar which are completely lacking in parks/green spaces; identify and earmark the areas in each locality of Srinagar which can be developed into a park/ green space; identify encroachments over parks and green spaces and to remove as such; avoid permissions for conversion of land use i.e., from conservation zone reserved for parks/ green spaces/ urban forests to residential/ commercial use; and to ensure adequate and proper regular maintenance of parks and green spaces in Srinagar.

In this connection, a response as well as the action taken report submitted by Director Floriculture stated that there are about 361 parks and gardens in Srinagar, out of which 109 parks and 8 gardens total 117 are maintained by the Floriculture Department.

A total of 51 parks and gardens are maintained by the Srinagar Development Authority, 29 by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, 93 by the J&K Housing Board (Unit I & II), 24 by the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control and 47 by the PWD (R&B).

Another report submitted by the Director, Floriculture on April, 5, 2019 places on record that sufficient number of dustbins has been placed in all parks maintained by it.

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