Wake up, there’s a crisis by Bushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE

 The water resources in the Jammu and Kashmir have started giving anxiety moments with most of the rivers, tributaries, streams brooks, lakes, wetland and ponds under severe stress. Not a single source of water has been spared to be fit for human consumption.

The civilizations which came and vanished on the availability of water polluted every known source with every kind of pollutants.

A pathetic story from plenty to scarcity has been brought in Indus basin, which originated from Mansrover, in Tibet drains. Our state right from Hindukush to Lakhnpur, Jehlum, Chenab, Tawi, Basantar,Ujih, Ravi, Sandran, Brinji, Arapat, Lidder; Arapal, Harwan, Sind, Erin, Madhumati, pohru, Vijidakil , Vishav, Reambiara, Romshi, Doodganga, Sukhnag, & Ningal free from caste, creed, colour & culture serves millions of people before vanishing in Arabian sea.

 Unfortunate, insensitive and uncaring approach of the society, utter disregard to respect, protect and preserve nature is the root cause. All feel its pinch, yet take it in its stride There is no dearth of laws apart from moral responsibility of Civil Society, for ensuring the status of water resources intact in quality and quantity .What lacks is will to act and implement.

The little coordination between Institutional systems entrusted by statutory authority for protection of bio-diversity. Apex Court has implored upon states to guarantee the fundamental right to life and the right to a wholesome environment which enjoys upon it an obligatory duty, under constitutions, to protect and preserve the ecosystem. Protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have sustainable development, the precautionary principle and bio-diversity protection.

The State has miserably failed to discharge its obligation in absence of monitoring and controlling the rot compounding the gravity of the situation. J&K  has its own Water Resources Regulatory Authority  under the Jammu and Kashmir state water Resources(Regulation and Management) Act 2010, to monitor , protect and improve  in the flow of water  and the physical integrity  of water courses, lakes and springs  Section 3(20 )of the Act say “no person shall use any water from any source( surface or ground, or collect or extract any material  from such water sources  except in accordance with the provision of the Act Section 81(3) further say that “no extraction of any kind of material shall be made by any person in the bed or on  the banks of any  water source, navigation channel, intake channel, or flood spill channel without the identification of the site of extraction by an officer specified empowered in this behalf by the prescribed authority ,who shall before identifying such site or location ensures that(a) such extracted material is in a controlled quantity(b)such extraction does not affect  the flow of the water source(c)such extraction  does not affect the functioning of water supply or irrigation schemes in the vicinity and (d) such persons undertake  to remove the extracted bed material simultaneously in order to ensure normal flow of water in the concerned water source

The water (Prevention and Pollution Control) Act1974, empower State Pollution Control Boards; to provide for the prevent and control of pollution and the maintain or restoring of wholesome water”, The Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto, no activity of any sort can be carried in wildlife area, no disturbance of any sort.

The Forest(Protection)Act , 1980,empowers forest Department to take all such measures as it deem necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution The Environment(Protection)Act, 1986 is to take appropriate steps for the protection  and improvement of human environment, other living  creatures, plant and property Geological Survey of India’s Guidelines under Impacts and Methodology of Systematic and Scientific Mining in the river bed material” for sustainable riverbed emphasized  to prevent damages to the river regime ,protection and restoration of the ecological system, So as to  assure preservation and thrive, in stream habitat, riparian habitat, Contain degradation of land, lowering of groundwater table in flood plain areas, ,polluting Surface , and ground water Choking of filter material for ingress of ground water from river

Not a single case is there to cite, of its deliverance enough teeth but no strong enough to bite.  Divisional Commissioners of respective division are supposed to monitor the enforcement of law, which has dismal track record under single line administration.

District Development Commissioner who is also District Magistrate, is squarely responsible to protect the interest of the government in letter and spirit he cannot be expected to be sheer file pusher

There is a dire need is to reign in SARKARI Dada GIRI, lawlessness scenario which prevails under impacts and methodology of Systematic and Scientific Mining in the river and Supreme Courts orders under the Chairmanship of Minster for I&FC dated 12.02-2013 decides and there of instructed that the identification of sites/stretches for extraction of bed material will be done by PHE.

Moreover, Irrigation & Flood Control Department in both the provinces ‘ “The G&M Department must get the Environment Impact Assessment done and Environment Management Plan approved before granting contract for collection of miner minerals from river nallah beds Role of authorities such as Pollution control Board, , Environment Protection, Forest Conservation, Wildlife Protection, Fisheries ,Municipal Corporation Town area committees to ensure preservation ,improve biodiversity monitor of water quality have let  us down miserably.

Wisdom is questioned  as to allow mining up to six feet in river/nallah water channels,in the state seems absurd in the view, many rivers are blocked through Dams, annual sediments are halted upstream , essential  for biodiversity Upper and lower Sindh,Baghliyar,Dulhasti, Salal on Chenab,Ujah, Seva, Ravi , there is an sections 168(a) and  168(e) of the Act ,Civil Courts rarely used Divisional Commissioner, do not take periodical monitoring review meetings to rope in defaulters, with the result implementing agencies be it be Irrigation and flood control, Forests, Wildlife Fisheries beside implementing agencies, Irrigation and flood control constitute inter-departments committees to ensure activities are carried as per law of the state Quarterly meetings in between emergent also be called.

 By- Bushan Parimoo
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website .)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)

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