Disapproving “collusion between LAWDA, mafia and police,” the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday observed that a comprehensive workable plan is required to do away with the encroachments in Dal lake.
“The court in order to save the Dal Lake from further encroachments and to have workable plans of removing the existing encroachments, would require to have holistic and comprehensive plans,” a division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Muhammad Magrey observed while hearing a Public Interest Litigation on preservation of Dal lake. The bench urged that steps have to be taken to prevent further shrinking of the Dal Lake. Underling that deterrent action would have to be taken against the officials and all those persons involved in raising illegal constructions which, it said, would include owner of the structure as well, the court asked Senior Counsel Z A Shah to come up with suggestions on how the Dal lake will be saved from encroachments in the future and how the existing encroachments will be removed.
The court made the observations after enforcement officer of LAWDA, Suhail Ahmad admitted before the court that he has joined LAWDA seven months back and during this period a new construction has come up near Ashai Bagh Bridge.
“The admission of the enforcement officer of LAWDA is prima facie sufficient to indict him. He has allowed the structure to come up and no steps were taken to stop the raising of structure,” the bench observed.
The bench told the enforcement officer that a case should have been registered against the authorities who allowed the illegal constriction.
Referring to a boy who attempted self immolation against demolition of illegal structures at Ashai Bagh bridge, the bench made an observation, “We will seal your house, only then you will feel the pain of the boy. Had the construction been stopped 14 years ago, the boy would not had to attempt self immolation because he has nothing to fall back upon now”.
In response to the submission by VC LAWDA that the boy was instigated by “vested interests”, the bench observed, “How construction material reaches the area when there is ban and this speaks that those responsible including police and officials of LAWDA are performing their duties. Deterrent action is required.”
Following the submission by AAG Shahbaz Sikandar, the court granted further time to LAWDA to file fresh compliance report on its directions before the next date of hearing. It also deferred action against Enforcement Officer Suhail Ahmad for time being