STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: A Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey ordered that to avoid any further devastative floods like that of 2014, all canals leading to river Jhelum are required to be restored to their original position.
While hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Molvi Peer Noor-ul-Haq, the DB observed that vide order dated January 31, 2018 which was passed in connection with the latest development i.e. collapse of Jhelum embankment at Lasjan, a direction was issued to the Flood Control Department to repair the embankment and to file the photographic evidence which has been filed today and same is taken on record. It was also informed that the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar is enquiring into the matter to ascertain the exact cause of the collapse. The report was directed to be submitted which has not been done. However, Senior AAG submitted that the Government has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar to conduct the enquiry and to submit the report within fifteen days, however the stipulated time of fifteen days is expiring and directed Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar to file the requisite report within eight days, in default to remain personally present.
Division Bench further observed that in the order dated August 14, 2014, reference to the affidavit as was filed by the respondent was taken note of, in particular reference to the original width of the canal ranging from 17 feet to 27 feet which by afflux of time has squeezed to the mere width of 3 feet to 5 feet. Upon this, Division Bench directed the Chief Engineer concerned to file an affidavit so as to show how many irrigation canals existed in the Kashmir Valley as per official record with their present status.
Division Bench further observed that the affidavit was filed which has been taken note of in the order recorded on November 24, 2014 suggesting that as pre record, 522 canals are in existence and functional. In isolated cases, the canals passing through suburbs of Srinagar City and main towns have been encroached upon since last few decades because of urbanisation. Division Bench directed Chief Engineer and other statutory authorities of the respondent department to take necessary steps for removal of encroachment and to file compliance report. DB also directed Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, to provide necessary assistance to the Chief Engineer.
Division Bench has directed Deputy Commissioners of the concerned Districts to monitor and to ensure removal of encroachment from all canals through concerned authorities.
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