House panel for foreign control to clean Dal

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 14: The House Committee on Environment has recommended that administrative control of the Dal Lake should be given to any foreign agency as the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has failed to preserve it.  
 Sources said the committee after having detailed discussion with the officials of LAWDA and pollution control board has decided that it would recommend the government that conservation of the Dal should be given to some foreign agency. 
 The House Committee on environment comprises 25 members and former Works Minister and senior NC leader Ali Muhammad Sagar is its chairman. The Committee has been given a task to give a detailed report to the government on conservation of the lake.
 Earlier, the officials of LAWDA told the committee that it has demolished only 200 structures out of 7000 in five years. Sources said the disclosure shocked the committee members. The officials told the committee that they have no space available to accommodate the people whose houses they are going to demolish.
 Sources said the officials told the committee that the National Lake Project would complete in 2009-10 and so far the department has accomplished only 25-30 percent of the work. The officials said that it has not even started the rehabilitation process.  
 The National Conference government had identified 1100 kanals for rehabilitation of Dal dwellers at Chandpora. The officials told the committee that if the government allows rehabilitation at Chandpora it could adjust 1000-2000 families. The officials, sources said, told the committee that the LAWDA has spent Rs 24 crores in providing land to the Dal dwellers at different places. But the committee told them that they should show the land they have acquired to the members as there are allegations that the land is given to the people and then taken back immediately. 
 Meanwhile the committee would brief the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad about its findings and recommendations. The committee has recommended that if the government failed to get any foreign agency to clean the Dal, it should then give the job to some independent agency.