SC Directs Jammu And Kashmir Govt To Restore Dal Lake

1 July 2014

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to concentrate on efforts to restore the pristine beauty of the world-famous Dal Lake. The direction was given by the court when it rejected the plea of the state government for discontinuing the service of Irfan Yasin, the vice chairman of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) whose term was extended after superannuation. 'No merit. The Special Leave Petitions are dismissed,' a bench of Justices T.S Thakur and C.Nagappan said on Monday. The state government had approached the apex court challenging the order of the Jammu and Kashmir high court in which it was directed to extend by six months the term of Yasin, who was due to superannuate on 31 March 2014. The court said that the State would have to comply with all the directions of the high court concerning the restoration of Dal lake and to prevent pollution and encroachments in its periphery. The high court had earlier directed the state to appoint a full-time official as the chairperson of the J&K LAWDA but as the deadline for appointment was reaching, the government gave additional charge of the Lake Authority to an already serving official. It, however, did not go well with the high court which had asked the state to extend the term of Yasin in the absence of regular chairperson of LAWDA. In 2002, Syed Iqbal Tahir Geelani, a law student, had written to the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir high court against illegal construction around Dal lake. He had alleged that the constructions were in violation of the Srinagar Master Plan, 1971. The high court had converted the letter into a PIL. 'Any litigation concerning construction within the Dal Lake, 200 metres from the lake and in the green belt should not be entertained,' it had said.