Technical expert committee to determine buffers around Dal, allied water bodies

Technical expert committee to determine buffers around Dal, allied water bodies
File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Jammu, Dec 9: J&K government on Friday constituted a technical committee of experts to determine the buffers around Dal lake and allied water bodies falling in Srinagar metropolitan region.

The committee members representing J&K government will include vice chairman, Lake Conservation & Management Authority as member-convener; Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority & representative of Department of Forest, Ecology Environment, not below the rank of Conservator of Forests; Chief Town Planner, Town Planning Organization, Kashmir and Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Kashmir or his representative having sound knowledge and understanding of lakes and wetlands.

Expert members of the committee would comprise Dr A B Akolkar, former member secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India; Prof A A Qazmi, IIT Roorkee; Prof Meenakhshi Dhote, Environment Planning Department, SPA, New Delhi; Prof Ariti Grover, Landscape Architecture Department, SPA, New Delhi; Prof K K Pandey, Prof of Urban Management Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi; Prof Zahoor Ahmad Rather, SKUAST, Kashmir (Floriculture & Landscape Department); Dr Pratab Singh, Expert in Hydrology, RMSI and Dr Himayun Rahid, Scientist, Department of Environment and Remote Sensing, J&K.

The terms of reference of the Committee will be to comprehensively examine, after due consultations with the stakeholders, the question of buffers of the Dal and allied water bodies covered by the Srinagar Master Plan 2035, from an environmental or lake ecosystem and urban planning or design point of view for the sustainability and conservation of these water bodies also ensuring that the gains from the efforts over the last two decades are taken to their logical conclusion.

Based on this, the Committee will also submit a comprehensive report with clear and unambiguous recommendations on the extant of the buffers around these water bodies and the permissible activities that could be allowed in the buffer zones or in such areas beyond the buffers as would be necessary in the Interest of the conservation of these water bodies.

“The Committee shall be serviced by the J&K Lake Conservation and Management Authority and shall complete its task within two months from the date of Issuance of this order,” said GAD secretary Dr Piyush Singla, while referring to order passed by the High Court in PIL No 159/2002, titled Syed Iqbal Tahlr Geelani versus State of J&K and others on September 8, 2022 and a communiqué of Housing & Urban Development Department.

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