Parliamentary panel recommends fresh mapping of Dal Lake

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A parliamentary panel has recommended to the J-K Union Territory administration to conduct fresh mapping of Dal Lake.

In its report, the department-related parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended to the UT administration to conduct fresh mapping of Dal Lake.

“The Committee recommends that the UT administration may conduct fresh mapping of Dal Lake to get an understanding about the percentage of the lake’s water which is relatively clean or severely degraded. This will help the UT administration to make a conservation plan for Dal Lake as well as in removing encroachments,” reads the report which was tabled in the Parliament during the ongoing budget session.

The panel has recommended that the cleaning of the water-body should be completed within a time frame. “Additional allocations, if required, may be sought from the Ministry of Finance at the Revised Estimates(RE) stage for this purpose,” the report states.

Briefing the panel about the steps taken for the restoration of Dal-Nagin lake, the UT Administration on Feb 16, 2023 informed them that the work for the preservation of both the water bodies spread over an area of 25.01 sq. km. and in the catchment area of 337.17 sq. km has been undertaken in a mission mode.

“Numerous other steps including de-weeding and lake cleaning on a large scale have been taken up for the conservation of the lake to restore it to its pristine glory,” the J-K administration told the panel.

In 2022-23, the Ministry of Home Affairs allocated Rs 273 crore for the rehabilitation of the Dal-Nagin Lake.

The committee, in its report, said that it notes that while Rs 273 crores was sanctioned in BE 2022-23, the UT administration has not provided details regarding its utilization.

The panel observed that there are large number of encroachments in the Dal lake area.

“Weeds, silt and untreated sewage are increasingly choking the beautiful lake, which draws tens of thousands of tourists each year. The waste discharge from houseboats also adds to the pollution in the lake. The committee observes that the visible outcome of the projects are yet to be seen,” the report further states. (KNO)

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