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Clear Jehlum, its tributaries, of encroachment: HC directs DCs

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation by Molvi Peer Noor-ul-Haq seeking preservation of river Jehlum and other water bodies in Kashmir.
D A RASHID
Srinagar | Posted : Feb 14 2018 1:29AM | Updated: Feb 13 2018 11:42PM
Clear Jehlum, its tributaries, of encroachment: HC directs DCs
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The High Court has directed all deputy commissioners to galvanize the concerned departments to restore river Jehlum and its tributaries to their original position by doing away with the encroachments on these water bodies.

A division bench of Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey directed the deputy commissioners to mobilize the concerned departments particularly Irrigation and Flood Control Department for ensuring complete removal of encroachments from the canals. 

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation by Molvi Peer Noor-ul-Haq seeking preservation of river Jehlum and other water bodies in Kashmir. 

While the court sought status report indicating the removal of the encroachments by March 8, the next date of hearing, it also sought to know about the progress of    dredging and removal of encroachments from the banks of rival Jhelum.

The court said the removal of the encroachments was necessary to avoid any further devastating floods like 2014.       

Observing that in keeping with its earlier directions, the deputy commissioners were to monitor and ensure removal of the encroachments from all the canals existing in Kashmir, the court said though there was some progress, no latest status report has been filed.     

In its order dated  24.11.2014, the court had directed the Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Kashmir and other statutory authorities to take necessary steps for removal of encroachment and to file compliance report. It had also ordered the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir to provide necessary assistance to the CE.   

The court’s direction had come after the government had informed it that out of 522 canals existing in the state some canals have been encroached upon and the original width of Padshahi Khul passing through Gulab Bagh, Rangpora, Daugerpora and Malbagh had been squeezed to 3 feet to 5 feet from 17 feet to 27 feet. 

With regard to repairing of Jhelum embankment at Lasjan, the court took on record the status report of Flood Control Department.  

With regard to the inquiry by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar for ascertaining the cause of collapse of the embankment, the court said though the report was to be submitted in 15 days it has not been done.

The court directed the Deputy Commissioner to file the requisite report within eight days saying in default he will remain personally present.