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Govt action on solid waste management under close watch by High Court.

The High Court on Monday directed Jammu and Kashmir government to inform it within four weeks about what was done on the draft action plan for solid waste management in the state.

A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Sanjeev Kumar sought the status of the action plan after senior additional advocate general, B A Dar informed the court that the draft plan was put in public domain up to November 4 for suggestions and comments.

The Court was hearing two public interest litigations, one through its own motion and the other by Environmental Policy Group seeking preservation of Sonmarg resort as well as management of solid waste.

The state counsel told the court that the Chief Secretary convened a meeting of concerned officers on October 3 in which it was decided to ask the Secretary for Tourism Department to place the action plan regarding the Solid Waste Management before the legal committee.

“Let the exercise be completed, on receipt of suggestion from the Public, and further action reported to the Court within four weeks,” the court said.

Earlier, the Chief Secretary was asked to by the court to examine and address all the issues relating to Solid Waste Management and submit an action plan.

The Court also permitted Faiz Ahmad Bakshi, Convenor, Environmental Policy Group, Syed Nasarullah Shah, Chairperson of the Legal Committee of the Group and Raja MuzaffarBhat to make a presentation before the Chief Secretary about their suggestions to the government.

On receipt of the presentation the Chief Secretary shall report about the development, the court directed.

It also directed Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit informing the court about steps taken for the public awareness on Solid Waste Management and the amount of money spent. Meanwhile, the court granted four weeks’ time to assistant solicitor general Tahir Shamsi to file on behalf of Union Government an affidavit indicating funds allocation for Solid Waste Management as well as the specific purposes for which the same have to be utilised.In terms of order dated 17 September, the Union of India was asked to file an affidavit to indicate various schemes and the funds allocation to the J&K including during the last five years for Solid Waste Management.

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