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news details
HC directs authorities to stop deforestation, demarcate forest
8/18/2017 11:02:26 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Aug 18: The State High Court on Friday directed authorities to stop deforestation in order to check flash floods in the state. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey passed the direction after perusal of a status report by Principal Chief Conservator Forests in which he has stated that major cause of floods was deforestation.
The court also directed the authorities concerned to demarcate forest, wetlands, national parks etc and asked the authorities to carry out the process immediately.
The Division Bench directed Principal Chief Conservator Forests to file a detailed status report in this regard on next date of hearing. The Division bench also appointed Commissioner Secretary to Government Forest Department as nodal officer for demarcation process and directed him to ensure that the exercise was completed by or before next date of hearing in the PIL.
The court on previous hearing sought information from officials about the preparation to face the disaster such as floods of 2014. "What is the plan of action suppose floods occur? Have you done any mock drill in this regard? Give us the proper detail as to how many authorities are in place to tackle such kind of situation (floods). Have you assessed the requirements to face with the situation like floods?" the court had said.
On previous hearing, the Court was also informed about the dredging and widening of river banks as also the constructions of protection, retaining walls along river banks at various places.
Counsel representing the petitioner submitted that wetland have been totally neglected, owing to which movement of foreign birds in these wetland has decreased substantially. He also pointed out that Ministry of Water Resources has suggested that unabated drudging should be stopped at zero bridge as the banks on either sides of the river have become weak and may collapse.
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