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Observing that “insatiable” human greed is bent upon destroying river Jhelum, Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed the state government to remove all encroachments along the river-banks.

A Division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court comprising Justices M H Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey directed Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control (Kashmir) to ensure removal of all encroachments from the banks of the river and directed Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, to provide all necessary assistance for it.

“A duty is cast upon the Chief Engineer and other statutory authorities to ensure removal of all encroachments from the banks of river Jhelum along its entire course,” the bench directed after hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The Bench said the laws have to be enforced with all vigour and force. “A few individual’s greed cannot be permitted to play havoc with the rights of the millions of people of Kashmir.”

“For enforcing the laws made in this connection and safeguarding the rights of millions of people of the Valley and miscreants be not allowed to permit to play havoc with the people,” the court observed.

“Many civilisations have been set up on the banks of this river in its history of thousands of years. The insatiable human greed is bent upon to destroy this great river,” it added.

The court also sought details about the original width of River Jhelum from the Chief Engineer saying it appears that the Chief Engineer has confined himself to the city of Srinagar alone for removal of encroachments while as River Jhelum is the main aquatic lifeline in Kashmir Valley.

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