Jammu & Kashmir: HC seeks status of disaster management plans

Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India (September 12, 2017): The High Court has directed the government to inform it about the follow-up action with regard to the decisions taken by the state disaster management authority (SDMA) on disaster management in the state.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice BadarDurrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey issued the direction after examining the minutes of a meeting of SDMA that was chaired by the Chief Minister.

The minutes of the meeting were a part of the status report filed by commissioner/secretary and director, Disaster Management Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction department.

While the meeting has taken several decisions which include community-based disaster management, inventory of resources, state disaster mitigating fund, flood mitigation, and response plan, the court sought a status report on the follow-up action from the authorities by next date of hearing.

The court also sought to know about the Disaster Management Policy notified on May 22 this year.

The minutes of the meeting were a part of the status report filed by commissioner/secretary and director, Disaster Management Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction department.

For putting in place Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act, 2015, advocate general Jahangir Iqbal Ganai told the court that the proposal is ready and is waiting for the next cabinet meeting, which he said, will take place soon.

The court said despite its directions, commissioner/secretary PHE, irrigation and flood control has not come up with a comprehensive plan for restoration of interlinkage between rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

While the AG told the court that there was some misunderstanding which was sorted out, the court sought a status report on action by the concerned authorities by next date of hearing. With regard to its directions to the government to carry out demarcation of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves and wetland reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, the court said that no status report was filed by commissioner/secretary, Forest Department as nodal authority.

The court sought a status report in this regard by the next date of hearing.

The court also directed advocate Shabir Ahmad Naik representing the northern railways to file Environmental Impact Assessment Report along with Environment Management Plan so that amicus-curie may examine the same and make submissions, if necessary. The court was today informed that the maps indicating wildlife protected area network comprising natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries conservation reserves across Kashmir.

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