An official report has recommended slew of measures for conservation measures of the Dal Lake.
Srinagar Metropolitan Plan (SMP) report- 2035 has stated that “we may lose the water body” if measures are not taken to safeguard this famed lake in summer capital.”
Srinagar Metropolitan plan was approved by the state administrative council headed by Governor SP Malik recently.
According to the vision report, the Dal Lake needs corrective measures immediately.
“It is felt that we may permanently lose the water body (Dal Lake) if measures are not taken to firmly define the boundaries. Treatment within and outside the lake—to protect the Dal Lake from being depleted by inside/outside demands and to preserve this precious treasure of Kashmir valley,” it states.
Deliberating on causes of the lake’s degradation as per DPR of AHEC- IIT Roorkee, it states the water body’s boundary is not properly defined along western periphery.
Based on the comprehensive study of all reference documents, the SMR recommend demarcation of the lake margin especially along its western side by way of some physical delineation as shown from Dalgate to Saidakadal as greenway. It said this will help to restrict encroachment and entry of pollutants into the lake.
It states that there has been drastic change in land use, land cover of catchment area besides reduction in volume by siltation mainly due to catchment area degradation.
Other factors attributed to the deteriorating condition of Dal Lake as per SMR are as reduction and clogging of water channels within the lake because of encroachments leading to reduce circulation. It has also blamed loss of settling basin and bio-filters due to dumping of dredged material from the lake. It states that there has been reduction of fresh water inflow into the lake.
The report has recommended un-interrupted flow of water towards Nallah Amir Khan, maintaining water level of at least 11-feet from the bed level, strong flushing and recirculation of water periodically.
It has states that State Pollution Control Board should regularly check water quality of both Dal and Nigeen. It has also recommended revival of defunct springs by removal of sediments and garbage.
It states that floating gardens are unique feature of the Dal Lake “but their proliferation in the water expanse is also a potential threat to the lake ecosystem.” It also recommends alignment of houseboats to houseboat zone which is fully equipped with trunk infrastructure.
It recommends preventing new arrivals of invasive species and reducing the spread of those already here and replacement of water lilies Nymphia by lotus.