HC Bans Plastic Material Inside All Parks, Green Spaces

SRINAGAR: Observing that “much more is required to be done first for the maintenance and development of the parks in existence”, Jammu & Kashmir High Court and Ladakh prohibit the use of plastic and plastic material in all the existing parks and green spaces.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar direct all the authorities maintaining those parks to see that no such plastic or plastic material is thrown in the parks or green spaces “except in the dustbins which shall be cleared periodically.”

The court also directed for complete prohibition of the constructions in all the parks and open spaces and green spaces in line with its earlier orders on 12 February 2020 and 23 October last year.

“We direct that to minimize illegal activities allegedly being carried out in some of the parks/ open spaces to ensure that all boundary walls/ reeligns of the parks be kept transparent so that people from outside can have an eye on the activities inside,” the court said in another direction as per news agency GNS.

“Fourthly, we provide that the authorities would undertake construction of sufficient washrooms and toilets at appropriate places to be earmarked by some expert in each of the park and to construct proper pathways wherever feasible.

“In addition to the above, we direct that the authorities will take effective steps in accordance with law for the removal of all encroachments or unauthorized constructions from all parks and green spaces and ensure that no construction in the vicinity is raised without the proper permission/ sanction of the map by the competent authority.”

As per Director Floriculture, there are about 361 parks and gardens in Srinagar. Out of them, 117— 109 parks and 8 gardens— are maintained by the Floriculture Department; 51 by the Srinagar Development Authority, 29 by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, 93 by the Jammu & Kashmir Housing Board (Unit I & II), 24 by the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control and 47 by the PWD (R&B).

The court also directed the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, to consider the feasibility of having at least a quarterly meeting of all the authorities responsible for maintaining and developing various parks and garden including the heritage gardens so as to coordinate their working and to record the minutes thereof for submission before the court if necessary.

“The Divisional Commissioner, Srinagar, as well as Jammu are directed to submit periodical reports with regard to the progress of the work of the Divisional Level Committees constituted vide order dated 14.09.2018.”

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