Srinagar, Aug 5: Governor N.N. Vohra took an extensive tour of Dal lake to assess the progress achieved in the ongoing cleaning operations, particularly removal of Lily patches, macrophyte de-weeding and sewage control. He was accompanied by B.B. Vyas, Advisor to Governor; KB Agarwal FC, Housing and Urban Development Department; Baseer Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; and Dr. A.H. Shah, VC LAWDA.
Governor was apprised that 600-700 skilled labours have been engaged in the operation for Lily extraction and, so far, 81,461 cubic metres of lily pads have been removed. Besides, 300-350 semi skilled labours are engaged in de-wedding/skimming activities on daily basis and so for 49,825 cubic metres of weeds have been removed.
On being informed that LAWDA has pressed into service three weed harvesters and two skimmers also to carry out the de-weeding operations mechanically, Governor directed Dr. Shah, VC LAWDA, to deploy the machines in double shift for speeding up work by ensuring adequate incentivising of the machine operators.
Governor directed that the operation may be intensified in order to achieve tangible results and, in the first instance, the area between SKICC to NPL Bund should be cleared from Lily infestation in a time bound manner. He also directed that the tenders for hiring of Lake cleaning machines should be finalized within 7 days, so that the hired machines are pressed into service immediately for improving the progress of de-weeding/Lily extraction.
Governor took serious exception to the manner in which the enforcement of the Lake Authority has been functioning and called for immediate strengthening and revamping of the Wing. Governor ordered a number of measures to check the flow of sewage into the world famous water body and directed KB Agarwal FC, Housing and Urban Development Department, to formulate separate sanitation proposals for the House Boats anchored to the shoreline and those moored in the open water expanse.
Governor directed that all the House boats should be put on notice to install holding tanks/bio digesters immediately in order to ensure that the untreated sewage does not get discharged into the Lake directly.
It was also decided that the Lakes Authority will prepare a daily bulletin to apprise the Raj Bhavan regarding the progress achieved, manually as well as mechanically, to ensure daily monitoring of the cleaning efforts.
Governor has decided to take the next review of de-weeding/ Lily extraction operations after 10 days.