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NGT seeks urgent action on Dal’s worsening condition

May 14, 2024

New Delhi- The National Green Tribunal has sought a response from several authorities, including the Central Pollution Control Board and the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee, on the” deteriorating conditions” of the Dal Lake in Kashmir.

The green panel was hearing a matter in which it had taken suo motu (on its own) cognizance of a media report that said:”…the condition of the Dal Lake in Kashmir was deteriorating because of municipal sewage, pollution, and urbanization and its impact on the lives of Hanji people (those living in houseboats)”.

A bench of National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said, according to the report, sewage has destroyed the fish in the lake. At one time, people used to drink the lake water but today it cannot even be used for washing faces.

”The news item mentions that 70 percent of the sewage generated in Srinagar city finds its way into the lake and the sewage treatment plants (STPs) are heavily over-utilised and under-maintained. The destruction of the fish has impacted the business and life of the Hanji people,” it said, noting the report.

In an order passed on May 8, the tribunal said the news report raised a ”substantial issue” regarding compliance with environmental rules.

It impleaded as parties or respondents several authorities, including the vice-chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority, member secretaries of the Central Pollution Control Board and the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee, and the Srinagar deputy commissioner or district magistrate.

”Let notice be issued to the above respondents for filing their response at least one week before the next date of hearing (on August 21),” the tribunal said.

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