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PIL on floods: HC directs presence of Secy PHE with action plan
5/14/2019 10:14:27 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, May 14: The J&K High Court, disappointed over the inertia to formulate an action plan to prevent the 2014-like floods in the state, has directed Commissioner/ Secretary PHE remain personally present and submit the action plan before the court on or before the next date of hearing.
When the matter came-up for hearing, the division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan
observed that despite repeated orders, the court found that no action plan has been formalized or placed on record. The status reports filed on record only refer to dredging of existing water ways.
The bench further observed that it found reference by the respondents to the geo-mapping of pre-existing waterways to enable the respondents to interlink the water ways, it would appear that the geo-mapping has not even begun.
The court further observed that the sum and substance of the examination of the various orders passed in this bunch of PILs and the status reports shows that till date the state government does not even have any action plan even with regard to measures which are necessary to prevent the flooding of the nature which occurred in 2014.
The bench further observed that the record suggests that there may be encroachments in the pre-existing waterways which would require to be removed so as to ensure no flood takes place. "These are not matters which can be addressed overnight. Therefore, it is a matter of grave concern that despite almost five years having passed since the floods of 2014, the state government is unable to formulate even an action plan in order to ensure protection of the life and property of the citizens in the State. This matter brooks no delay at all," the court observed.
The bench directed Registry to place the orders passed by it on August 27, 2018, August 28, 2018 and February 4, 2019 and on May 14, 2019, before the Chief Secretary of the state for urgent examination and a report be submitted to this court.
In the meantime, the bench directed the respondents to file details of the locations where dredging has been effected.
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