SRINAGAR: Shikarawallas operating in Nigeen Lake here say the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) despite repeated requests has failed to de-weed and clean the lake, which is hampering their business, as ‘shabby and foul’ lake becomes turn-off for the tourist.
A delegation of Nigeen Lake Shikarawallas, who ferry tourists in taxi boats for joy rides and site seeing in the world famous lake, told Kashmir Reader that they went many a times to LAWDA office requesting people their for cleaning of the lake. However, the officers of LAWDA told them that they do not have fuel for the de-weeding machines to do the job they said, and adding that once they sent few labourers to do the job but they could not do much in one day.
Shikarawallas said as the tourist season has started picking up with domestic arrivals, many of them who come to visit the lake run back after seeing its filthy situation. “It leaves us high and dry at time when there was some chance for us to earn our livelihood,” said Farooq Ahmad, a Shikarawalla operating at Nigeen Lake.
“Despite repeated requested to LAWDA officials, they are not interested in cleaning the lake, even when it is their duty,” Nazir Ahmad Nagu, one of the Shikarawalla said. He said same is the case with the park operated by the Tourism Department near Nigeen Club. “The park much touted as Baghi-shagufa few years back by the department has been completely abondend and has become now home for dogs,” Nagu said.
Nagu said if the Tourism Department claims to revive tourism in the Valley with spending so much on the promotion, the maintenance of the tourism sites should have been the priority of the Tourism Department and other related agencies.