STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: A Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sindhu Sharma on Tuesday directed Chief Executive Councilor (CEC), Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh to ensure that every possible step is taken in the process of providing uninterrupted supply of water in the area concerned so as to mitigate the sufferings of the inhabitants. The court direction came in a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation considered on the basis of news item titled, ‘Water Scarcity Forcing Migration in Leh. The DB observed that the issue raised in the news report regarding people migrating from different parts of Ladakh region on account of water shortage is very serious. “It clearly reflects damage to environment, to which human actions have contributed, cannot be countenanced. More so, it manifests that human actions are adversely impacting, even irreversibly, natural resources as melting of glaciers, which are essential to life. The impact on the environment in the area including matters relating to excessive construction in the area shall directly impact the demand of the water supply. The water resources, especially the rivers and water bodies which irrigate the Ladakh region, deserve special attention and protection. Giving the importance of the issue, it is directed that the aforesaid newspaper report be registered as writ petition in the public Interest. The report be taken on record”, the court had observed. DB further observed that reply/status report has been filed by respondents wherein it has contended that the Government is doing its best to conserve water in order to mitigate the problems of scarcity of water in the entire Ladakh region. It is stated that efforts are being put into place by the concerned departments by way of formulation of a plan for conservation of water storage structure in the form of constructing artificial glaciers to tap waste winter flow; snow check dams; percolation tanks; de-silting of ponds and reservoirs; construction of ponds; construction of recharge shafts; organization of awareness camps for encouraging judicious use of water and to avoid excessive use of water, etc. Going by the stand taken by the respondents, DB observed that in the event the inhabitants of the area still have some further grievance with reference to the supply of water at any point in time, they shall be at liberty to approach this Court again in appropriate proceedings.
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