Governor inspects Dal lake, says half of water surface invisible
Governor NN Vohra on Friday slammed slow pace of de-weeding work on Dal Lake here, saying half of its water surface is not visible at all to viewers.
A Raj Bhawan spokesman said during his inspection of the water body last evening, the Governor noted that "because of reduction in pace of de-weeding work in the past two years, the water surface has been rapidly encompassed by Lotus and other growth (of weeds), resulting in more than half of the water surface not being visible at all to the viewer.
"Presently, much more of Lotus and other growth is visible and very little of the lake can be seen except in area around the Nehru Park," he said, cautioning that if the de-weeding programme is not executed on 24×7 basis, the "alluvial process shall lead to a significant portion of the Lake being converted into a land mass as has happened to the Wular Lake."
"For achieving the required results, for saving the Lake, the pace of every element of the ongoing work shall have to be enhanced at least twenty-fold and at least a dozen harvesters and skimmers shall need to be put into operation on virtually round-the-clock basis, besides very significantly stepping up manual de-weeding," the Governor, who was flanked by chief secretary BB Vyas and other senior officers, said.
The Raj Bhavan spokesman said the Governor plans to have a "very early further meeting" with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to discuss the outcome of his visit to the Lake.
"Consequent to Governor's earlier discussions with the Chief Minister regarding the rapidly-declining visual aspect of the Dal Lake, the latter had asked chief secretary BB Vyas, who is also the chairperson of the High Court-appointed Dal Lake Monitoring Committee, to apprise the Governor about the to-date status of the ongoing works," the spokesman said.
Vohra, along with Vyas and other concerned officers, undertook an inspection of the Dal last evening, particularly traversing the central and Zakoora end of the water body.
"After his extensive tour, the Governor observed that more than half of the water surface of the Lake is no longer visible to the visitors because of the rapidly-growing Lotus plant and a variety of weeds, particularly because the ongoing de-weeding process is proceeding almost at a negligible pace," the spokesman said.
After the inspection, Vyas made a presentation to the Governor when the commissioner (Housing) Hirdesh Kumar, vice-chairman Lakes and Waterways Development Authority Tahseen Mustafa, senior law officer (HUDD) Muhammad Abkar Dar and other concerned officers were also present.
Vyas apprised the Governor about various works underway and decisions recently taken to speed up the entire process for countering the adverse impact of sewage and solid waste materials flowing into the Lake, alongside efforts underway to remove the weed infestation.
The Governor observed that the targetted timeframes and the ongoing pace of work requires to be very significantly speeded up in respect of: (i) establishment of 30 MLD STP at Ishbar, Nishat; (ii) purchase of additional weeding harvesters and skimmers; (iii) re-location and rehabilitation of the existing inhabitants on the Dal; (iv) re-location of 380 House Boats to Dole Demb; (v) re-alignment of 230 House Boats along the Kohnakhan water front; and connecting 180 House Boats in Nageeen to the sewerage network.