People from Dal Lake area have to face immense hardships due to the absence of a proper road and also due to government’s failure in implementing the resettlement policy.
In 2012, the government began the construction of a 4 km road to connect the interior areas of Dal Lake and the cost of the project was to the tune of Rs 1.40 lakh. However, due to official apathy, the road that was supposed to be completed in one year was left mid-way.
Nasir Hussain, a resident of Mir Bahri said, “This road is our lifeline as it connects us with the other part of the Valley. We are facing problems due to the road being damaged.”
He also said that the government’s resettlement policy for the Dal dwellers has not been implemented properly. “If the government thinks, we are polluting Dal Lake, then why has the resettlement policy not been implemented effectively and why is the work moving at a snail’s pace.”
Under the resettlement project, 2000 plots were supposed to be allocated to the Dal dwellers. But so far only 200-300 families have been shifted to the Rakh-e-Arth in Bemina area of Srinagar.
The residents said that families who have been shifted to Rakh-e-Arth area are finding it hard to live there as the houses allocated to them are in a very bad shape.
In order to conserve the Dal Lake, High Court had put a ban on any sort of construction within 200 meters radius around it, which hampers the repair of the houses inside the Dal area. Imran Hussain, a resident said, “Neither can we repair our houses nor we are being resettled, what should we do?”
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE), Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Gurmit Singh said that the resettlement policy was being implemented in three phases. He said, “Currently work of the first phase was being implemented. The work on the first phase of the project was halted by the Budgam authorities, but the issue has been settled now. It will take some time to complete the project.”
On being asked about the dilapidated road, Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department, Chief Engineer, Abdul Hameed Sheikh said that he had no information about that project. “I don’t know about that project.”