Vaishno Devi: NGT raps J&K over rehabilitation plan for mules
(Sourced from PTI)
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slammed the Jammu and Kashmir government for not finalizing a rehabilitation plan for horses and mules which have been barred from plying from Katra to the Vaishno Devi temple and slapped a cost of Rs. 50 lakh on the state government. The bench refused to grant four weeks of time sought by the state government. Here's more.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim refused to grant the time sought by the government to place the plan before the state cabinet for its approval. The green panel said there was no explanation why the rehabilitation scheme had not been placed before the cabinet since February 20 when the tribunal first asked the state to finalize the plan.
"Time sought to place (the plan) before the cabinet does not appear as a reasonable request on behalf of the state in regard to the serious matter pertaining to the rehabilitation of the affected peopled whose life depends on the rehabilitation," the bench said.
"We note the state has failed to note that rehabilitation scheme is for providing for rehabilitation to the persons who were earning through mules and for but the animal as well," the bench said. "We decline to grant time to the state and instead impose the cost of Rs. 50 lakh to be deposited within one week from now," it added.
The bench also asked the government to ensure that the scheme is finalized complying with all directions of the tribunal within two weeks from now. Any failure on the party of the state shall expose it to further order in this regard. The tribunal had last year said that a new path be created to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars
The tribunal had ordered the state government to finalize the rehabilitation plan and directed that it be put in the public domain without any delay. However, the government failed to submit any plan till date. The matter is posted for next hearing on April 18.