Stinky Chinar Bagh finally orphaned
LAWDA, IFCD disown responsibility for Tchuntu Kul maintenance
GK CITY REPORTER
Srinagar, Aug 4: Cleanliness of the much hyped Chinar Bagh area, which houses some 70 houseboats is nobody’ baby as the concerned departments have disowned the Tchuntu Kul Canal leaving the picturesque area literally orphaned in messy conditions.
For decades Chinar Bagh, an area dotted by majestic Chinars had been a favorite hangout for tourists. But this year, given its filthy conditions there are hardly any takers for the holidaying accommodation, leaving the tourism business in red.
While the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) said it’s the responsibility of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD) to maintain the canal, the latter says it’s the responsibility of the former.
The Superintending Engineer IFCD Haamid Mehmood said the department only looks after the twin water-gates of the canal: one at Ram Munshi Bagh and the other at Gaw Kadal.
“Rest we are not responsible for the cleanliness or any other maintenance of the Tchuntu Kul,” the SE told Greater Kashmir.
The LAWDA officials on the other hand said the canal “originally belongs to the IFCD and so they should maintain it.”
The LAWDA Endeavour
Pertinently earlier this year the LAWDA got the canal dredged using sophisticated machines. In a goodwill gesture, the LAWDA VC Irfan Yasin had personally intervened to get this waterbody adjascent to Dal lake cleaned as it had been a long pending demand of the Chinar Bagh dwellers, particularly the houseboat owners.
The results of the LAWDA deed were so phenomenal that officials said satellite images by Google revealed a sea change.
“We had got the entire Tchuntu Kul dredged even though it wasn’t a part of our project,” Yasin recaps.
The LAWDA VC however said the Tchuntu Kul dwellers were themselves also responsible for the mess.
“They need to develop a habit for keeping the surroundings clean… When we got the canal dredged almost all kinds of filthy material including rotten mattresses were dug out from there clearly indicating that the dwellers hadn’t been concerned (towards waterbody),” Irfan told Greater Kashmir.
He however said the LAWDA would try to look for some possibility of getting the Tchuntu Kul cleaned again.
“But presently we are concentrating on our basic project, which is the conservation of Dal,” he added.
When contacted the Houseboat Owners Association Chairman Manzoor Ahmed Wangnoo admitted that the Chinar Bagh houseboats have suffered severe loses as they couldn’t reap the benefits of the ongoing tourist season.
“But I approached the LAWDA VC and he has assured of respite,” Wangnoo hoped.
Meanwhile, the tourism players and environment friendly organizations have appealed the Divisional Commissioner Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon to look into the matter on priority basis.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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