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Religious group fences Narkara wetland for setting up varsity
5/16/2018 12:08:12 AM
Early Times Report

srinagar, May 15: An influential religious group of Kashmir on Tuesday said it completed the fencing of major portion of Narkara wetland for setting up a university.
The members of the group posted a video on social media and revealed that very soon earth filling of 100 kanals of wetland will be done for setting up Trans-World Muslim University.
"With the grace of Almighty Allah today we completed the fencing of university land here at Narakara wetland. Very soon we will start earth filling and construction works here," a JAH leader announces in the video.
However, the environmentalists, social activists and journalists raised a virtual 'revolt' against the religious group asking it to desist from filling the precious wetland.
"It will prove to be an environmental disaster as the Narkara nambal is a detention basin. It can retain surplus flood water of Doodhganga nallah or the Jhelum for more than 72 hours," activist and lawyer Nadeem Qadri told Early Times.
He said the J&K High Court has already directed the government to maintain the status-quo at Rahk-e-Arth in Narkara area, and "authorities must not allow anyone to fill this wetland."
"Establishing Trans-World Muslim University is good. But filling of wetlands and water bodies to raise university is an absurd idea. It shouldn't happen, it is shocking," photojournalist Javed Dar wrote on Facebook.
An officer revealed that the Narkara area, officially recorded as a waterbody, is habitation for various species of birds. He said that in 2014, this water body protected a large portion of area from devastation.
Earlier the government had decided to establish campus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) on notified Narkara wetland and had made its plan to land fill 800 kanals of land in the flood basin official in Detailed Project Report (DPR).
The Environment Policy Group (EPG) later filled a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the J&K High Court following which the court directed the government to maintain the status-quo at Rahk-e-Arth in Narkara area, where the government has acquired around 800 kanals of land for construction of IIM campus.
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