Srinagar, Aug 16: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today took an extensive tour of the Dal Lake to inspect progress of several de-weeding and cleanliness works being executed there.
Principal Secretary Housing & Urban Development Department, Commissioner Secretary, Forests Ecology and Environment, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, SMC Commissioner, VC Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA), Director Tourism Kashmir and other senior officers accompanied the CS during the visit.
While inspecting the cleanliness operations, he passed on directions to the team of officers to build on progress achieved so far and take up the necessary lake cleaning operations in a planned and efficient manner so that both the management & conversation aspects of the lake ecosystem is taken care of.
Chief Secretary directed the officers to take up cleanliness of lake in a mission mode and complete extraction of lilly pads by October. He also directed them to focus on the cleaning of Dal interiors and complete the installation of aerators by October.
Dr Mehta further directed that working shifts for machines should be increased in a bid to speed up cleaning operations of the Lake and all navigation channels should be made operational.
He impressed upon them that the work on detention ponds should be carried out in a more efficient manner in order to revive them within a month.
He further directed the concerned that the houseboat connections with STPs should be completed within the set timelines. Once fully connected to the sewerage system, the pollution from the houseboats will reduce to a great extent. Moreover he directed the officers to take immediate steps for the overall development of Doledemb area.
Terming sports activities and their promotion as a priority sector of the government, the Chief Secretary directed the concerned to encourage water sports activities in Dal that would give wings to the potential of many athletes.
Later CS visited the Char Chinar’ (four chinars) in the middle of the Dal Lake, which has got a new lease of life after the successful transplantation of chinar trees. J&K Forest department in consultation with technical experts from allied departments, in February 2022, had transplanted two tall chinars at two corners of the island where the trees previously stood but were lost to disease.
During his visit to Char Chinar, Dr Mehta directed the concerned to study the causes of death of the earlier chinars and maintain a constant vigil on the growth of these Chinar trees on the island. He complimented the officers for the successful transplantation of chinar trees and said that post-planting operations shall continue to maintain their good health. He also said that advance steps should be taken to prevent the decay of older chinars at the two corners and all efforts should be taken, like avoiding root compaction, for their total restoration.
VC LCMA informed the Chief Secretary that the allotment for installation of aerators has already been done. He also gave out that the work on detention ponds has also been taken in hand and all other directions issued will be carried to fruitful conclusion in a time bound manner.