The University of Kashmir has constituted a high-level Working Group to promote ecological restoration of the famed Dal Lake.
Apart from top varsity academics and researchers, the 15-member Working Group—to be headed by Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad—comprises heads of several government departments and universities in the J&K Union Territory which are, directly or indirectly, associated with restoration of Dal Lake. It also includes members from the civil society.
“A lot of research has been done and continues to be done in this university on Dal Lake. With this Working Group in place, we want to utilise the outcome of that research into policy-making concerning the ecological and scientific restoration of the Lake,” Prof Talat said.
One of the primary mandates of the University, the Vice-Chancellor said, is to identify pressing issues of immense societal and environmental importance and promote research on the same.
“I am hopeful that this Working Group, which has members from the academia, government as well the civil society, would be greatly beneficial in devising appropriate strategies and frameworks for effective conservation of the Dal Lake, which is both an asset and heritage,” he said.
Prof Shakil A Romshoo, the Dean of Research at KU, who is also a member of the WG, said the panel was mandated with consolidating and disseminating knowledge in the University about the Dal Lake restoration among the stakeholders.
The Working Group will also prioritise areas of research for better understanding of the Lake problems, he said, adding that it will also “identify gaps” in the Lake conservation and management while suggesting collaborative efforts required to ensure optimal utilisation of resources for the same.
The Working Group members also include Prof Akbar Masood, Dean Academic Affairs, KU; Vice-Chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, J&K; Vice-Chairman Srinagar Development Authority; Director Tourism Kashmir; Director Economic Reconstruction Agency, J&K Govt; Head, Department of Environmental Sciences, SKUAST-K; A R Yousuf, PEC (Civil Society); Yaseen Tuman (Houseboat Association); Prof Bashir A Ganai, Director, CORD, KU; Dr Manzoor A Shah, Associate Professor, Department of Botany KU; Dr Farruk Faheem, Assistant Professor IKS KU; Dr Riyaz Qureshi, Management Studies (Tourism), KU; Dr Yahya Bakhtiyar and Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology KU (Member Secretary).