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news details
Encroachment of Pampore, Wullar, Hokersar wetlands
Case listed before NGT
7/21/2019 11:06:22 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR July 21: Encroachment of three wetlands in Kashmir will be listed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) tomorrow. The petition was filed before NGT early this year and was listed in April before the Principal bench headed by Chairman NGT Justice A K Goel. The tribunal had issued notice to J&K Government asking them to file their response before July 22nd.
Details available with Early Times reveal that a petition asking for restoration and protection of Hokersar , Wullar & Pampore wetlands was filed before the NGT in March this year which had directed State Pollution Control Board , J&K Wildlife Protection Department and district administration of Bandipora, Srinagar, Budgam and Pulwama for submitting a detailed report within 2 months from the pronouncement of order.
The petition titled Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat V/S J&K Government was listed before the three member principal bench of NGT headed by Justice A K Goel on April 10th 2019. The petitioner through his counsel Rahul Chowdhary argued that Municipal Committee Bandipora was dumping all the municipal solid waste in the wullar lake by creating a garbage dump site at Zalwan Nussu village. In addition to it issue related to two other wetlands Hokersar and Pampore (Krechu Chanhara) was also raised. NGT had sought a detailed report from J&K Pollution Control Board , Wildlife Protection Department and DC's of Srinagar , Pulwama, Bandipora , Budgam within 2 months of time.
As reported already with an aim of protecting and conserving world famous Wullar lake which is a declared Ramsar site of international recognition, Government created Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) several years back. The officials of this Government organisation have turned to be parasites on the state exchequer as they are not at all performing their official duties. After allowing a garbage dump site to operate on the banks of Wullar lake , WUCMA has been a mute spectator to another environmental disaster as the new Government District hospital (DH) has been constructed on a wetland / paddy land (aabi awal) area which will pose a serious threat to the ecology and environment of the area.
Inspite of having sufficient land available in the outskirts of Bandipora town Government preferred to construct new District Hospital building within the town thus further chocking the water-body which is part of Wullar wetland.
Municipal Committee Bandipora is also destroying Wullar lake by dumping all the municipal solid waste on its banks at Zalwan Nussu village. Inspite of the fact that the Wular Lake has been recognised as a Ramsar site under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, 1971, the wetland has been subjected to pollution as a result of dumping of municipal solid waste as well as illegal encroachments by way of construction of roads and other infrastructure. WUCMA has not even tried to stop such illegal garbage dumping on wullar banks.
Recognizing the importance of the wetland for its biodiversity and socio-economic values, Wular Lake was designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. In addition to being identified as a Ramsar site, the Wetland has also been classified as a wetland in the National Wetland Atlas of India prepared by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is pertinent to mention in this regard that the Hon'ble Supreme Court, has in the matter of M.K. Balakrishnan v. Union of India reported in (2017) 7 SCC 810 (2) categorically stated that the areas marked as wetlands in the said Atlas are to be protected as per Rule 4 of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010.
Counsel of the petitioner informed the principal bench of NGT that Hokersar wetland in Budgam was being used for garbage dumping plus another wetland at Pampore locally called Kreechu Chandhara was being filled up by some vested interested people for being developed into a residential colony.
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