DB directives in PIL regarding Gharana Wet Land


Jammu, Mar 10: In a much publicized Public Interest Litigation regarding preserving the Gharana Wetland, A Division Bench of State High Court Jammu Wing Comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that 2. On 30th December, 2017, the following order was passed by the Division Bench of this Court counsel appearing on behalf of the Forest and Wild Life Department submits that the areas which is immediately required has been marked on the spot through poles after taking the GPS readings of each such pole. The exact points shall be market out on a map based on the GPS readings. Based on this, we direct the revenue authority to identify the ownership/occupation in respect of the area so marked out. The report of the Revenue Authority be submitted within four days. A copy of the same shall be given to the learned counsel for the petitioners in OWP No. 1177/2017. The land falling within the perimeter of these poles may be utilized for the purpose of preserving the Gharana Wetland, however, that shall be subject to final orders of this Court. In case the respondents need to acquire any land for the purpose of preserving the wetland at Gharana, they may make appropriate steps under the J&K Land Acquisition Act, 1990 (1934 AD) in accordance with the provisions thereof. This order has been passed with the consent of the petitioners because they have fairly stated that they are also interested in the preservation of the Wetland, provided their rights are also protected. The revenue authority shall act upon this order immediately so that they appropriately identify the areas, as directed above, within the time specified. While considering the issue of compensation which may be payable to the villagers whose land may be acquired, the acquiring authority shall first consider to provide the villagers land in lieu of the land that they are taking and also try to settle the compensation through negotiations with the villagers. The latter part of the order is a direction based on the fact that all the parties here are concerned about the preservation of the Wetland at Gharana.
Division Bench further observed that in compliance to the aforesaid order, Mr. Ehsan Mirza Dy. AG has filed a status report dated 29th January, 2018 on behalf of Tehsildar Suchetgarh. In the compliance report, certain details are given on behalf of Tehsildar, Suchetgarh are relating to various Khasra numbers and the extent of Private land, Shamlat Land, State Land and Custodian Land, DB after gone through the status report said that iIt does not contain full particulars. However, the specific direction of this Court is that the Revenue Authority shall identify the names of persons who are owners/occupiers in respect of the area so marked in the GPS readings.
DB further observed that AAG Rohit Kapoor appears on behalf of all the official respondents on instructions from the following officers, who are present in this Court, namely, Javaid Iqbal Parihar (Tehsildar, Suchetgarh), Harjeet Singh (Naib Tehsildar, R.S. Pura), Naresh Kumar (Sub-Divisional Magistrate, R.S. Pura), Bal Krishan (Girdawar), and, Asif Iqbal (Patwari), states that this exercise will be done immediately and the report will be filed. They will submit the details of ownership/occupation of the area marked as per the GPS readings.
DB further observed that insofar as the directions contained in Paragraph Nos. 2 to 4 of the aforesaid order of the Division Bench of this Court are concerned, Mr. Rohit Kapoor, AAG produced copy of Notification No. DIP/J-11409/18 dated 23rd February, 2018 issued by the Collector, Land Acquisition, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, R.S. Pura under Sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1990 Svt., to acquire the land measuring 408 Kanals approximately. DB directed AAG Rohit Kapoor appearing on behalf of the official respondents to file the same along with next status report.
DB further said that while proceeding further on the acquisition of land for developing and preserving the Gharana Wetland, the Collector, Land Acquisition is directed to consider the option of providing the Villagers, whose lands are to be acquired, alternate land in lieu of the land notified and in this regard, the Collector, Land Acquisition and SDM, R.S. Pura shall get inputs from the Naib Tehsildar, who is directed to identify suitable land, which can be given in lieu of the land, sought to be acquired.
DB further said that keeping in mind the objective of the State to protect and preserve the wetland, the Collector and other authority to proceed for settlement of the issues amicably.
DB further observed that this direction is in continuation to the earlier direction of this Court dated 30th December, 2017 issued in the light of the stand taken by the villagers, some of whom are represented by Mr. P.N. Raina, Sr. Advocate, where they have consented for parting with their land for the purpose of preservation and conservation of the Gharana wetland. They also plead for their individual rights of life and livelihood. DB further directed that the aforesaid two exercises be completed at the earliest. The first direction for identification of land as per the GPS readings shall be submitted to this Court on or before 19th March, 2018.
DB further observed that the Draft "Integrated Approach for the Development of Gharana Wetland" dated 05th March, 2018 was submitted. The Court has, however, pointed out that a proposal for Sewage Treatment Plan is a must. It is necessary requirement for recycling the water discharged from the village. The Wildlife Warden-Mr. Amit Sharma stated that the issue of STP will be taken care of and a revised proposal will be submitted.
Division Bench make it clear that the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) is an essential for ensuring that the water discharged from the village should be good either for village use or for any other use. Contamination of any kind should be avoided in the area around the wetland and the Revised Integrated Development Plan should be submitted expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks. The Wildlife Authority shall duly consult the department of Ecology and Environment and Remote Sensing for the aforesaid purpose or any other certified technical expert. JNF

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