Despite spending crores of rupees, Dal Lake showing no improvement

Despite spending crores of rupees, Dal Lake showing no improvement

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, May 9: Though the successive governments over the years, exhausted hundreds of crores of rupees to “preserve” famed Dal lake but when it comes to reality no visible improvement has been seen in its condition.
The experts believe that the authorities are themselves responsible for its deteriorating condition.
This could be gauged that authorities have taken several ill decisions, which are mainly responsible for its conditions.
An official of LAWDA department wished anonymity said: “Construction of Western Foreshore Road (WFR) was a disaster for Dal Lake. Millions of tons of filling material choked the vital water channels that acted like arteries through which stagnated water from bad water pockets of Dal Lake flowed. Vast tracts of bio filters were also destroyed during the construction work resulting in serious impact on the health of the lake.”
He said that construction of macadamized link roads, pathways and jetties in the interior of the lake. “Unscientific disposal of mud excavated from the lake’s bed by dredging. Harvesting of weeds by machine harvesters. Machine- driven shutter type outflow gates at Dalgate and Nalla Amir Khan. Live drains and gravity mains on the periphery of Dal Lake,” he added.
Abdul Ahad, 45, a resident of Dal Lake, also blames the government over deteriorating condition of the lake. “If some people do anything wrong that does not mean that law enforcing agencies will watch as mute spectators. The reality is government officials and the politicians are main culprits behind polluting the lake. Big hotels, guest houses, and houses have been raised in and round the lake over the years. Who allowed these constructions?” he asked.
He said that authorities clean a portion of Dal Lake around the SKICC. “When one goes into the interiors of the lake, you will find how the famous lake is turning into a swamp,” he added.
Over the years, hundreds of crores of rupees have been utilised for “preservation” of the lake but showing no improvement in its condition.
For the last 16 years, Rs 759 crores have been spent on conservation of Dal Lake. Among Rs 400.96 crores have been allocated by the Central government for conservation of the Dal Lake, while Rs 359.93 crores have been spent so far.
A major project ‘National Lake Conservation Programme’ was started in 2005 costing Rs 298.76 crore. Official sources revealed that an amount of around Rs 300 crore has been released by the Government of India.
“Even though such a huge amount has been spent under this project, there has been no improvement in the condition of the Lake,” an official of the LAWDA, said. “Government should think it seriously why no improvement in the condition of lake despite spending crores of rupees.”
The second conservation and management programme ‘Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programe’ (PMRP) of 2010 costing Rs 356 crore. It was for acquisition of land and structures in Dal and Nigeen Lake.
Another project was for the rehabilitation of the families dislocated from Dal and Nigeen lake. The project at a cost of Rs 416 crore for development of site at Rakh-I-Arth for preparation of site and provision for infrastructure like road, water supply, electricity, drainage, and sewerage and other community facilities and providing house units to the dwellers under State plan and Central assistance 315.90 crore and 90.92 crore respectively. (KNS)