‘Consider suggestions to make LAWDA independent body’

‘Consider suggestions to make LAWDA independent body’

The J&K High Court on Thursday asked the Chief Secretary to consider suggestions of Committee of Experts (CoE) on Dal Lake to make Lakes and Waterways development Authority (LAWDA) independent body.    

Whilegoing through the report by the CoE, a division bench of Chief Justice GitaMittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar held that the panel has suggested a draftlegislation to restructure LAWDA to make it a compact, independent,professionally and a technically viable body, with clear role, responsibilitiesand accountability.

"Letthis order be placed before the Chief Secretary for taking a considered view onthe suggestions of the Committee," the Court said. 

 In its report the CoE has said that LAWDA wasthe most appropriate authority to be made responsible and accountable for twolakes in the summer capital Srinagar – Dal and Nigeen.

Theexpert panel has also suggested that the Authority has to be free from controland dominance of the line department and its status has to be upgraded throughempowerment.

TheLAWDA, the panel said, should be headed by a competent technocrat/bureaucrat ofimpeccable integrity with technical experience and track record.

Thepanel further suggested that the officer should be of the rank of a PrincipalSecretary and should be delegated full statutory authority and powers to handleall the problems. 

Thepanel has recommended that VC LAWDA should report directly to the Lt Governorjust as the Delhi Development Authority reports to the LG Delhi.

"Arealistic assessment of the funds needed for the restoration of the lake has tobe made and requisite funds should be kept at the disposal of VC LAWDA fromyear to year" the panel said. 

Thecommittee has estimated Rs 1500 crore for next three years for restoration ofthe water body including its dredging.

Thepanel has further suggested that the VC should strengthen his organization withcompetent experts selected from "open market", if needed.

"Theperformance of VC LAWDA will be reviewed by the Committee every fortnight," thepanel said. 

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