HC seeks DPR for restoring Dal Lake inflow channel

HC seeks DPR for restoring Dal Lake inflow channel
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  • Lakes Conservation Week twice a year, embankments with
  • ‘Geo-synthetic bags’, private company to run awareness programmes

Srinagar: The High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to prepare the detailed project report for restoring inflow channels and retention ponds of Dal Lake.
A division bench comprising Chief justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey passed the orders to the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) after taking a suggestion from Amicus Curie, advocate Zaffar Shah.
After the bench was shown a digital presentation showing work done by LAWDA authorities in cleaning up the water channels, advocate Shah said, “Cleaning won’t do the whole job. Walls should be created so as to prevent soil erosion and entering of other matter into the channels.”
The court accepted the suggestion and advised that the embankment should be fortified to prevent soil erosion and also to ensure that the hydraulic flow of water is maintained.
The court was further informed that the use of Geo-synthetic solution can be made for delineating the boundaries of Rakhi Arth, Khushalsar, Gilsar, and Anchar Lake. Geo-synthetic solution involves the use of geo-synthetic bags which create natural embankments by settling down silt.
The Vice-Chairman LAWDA submitted that on February 19, a proposal for Geo-synthetic solution was submitted to Finance Commissioner for demarcating of the boundaries of the lakes. The court directed the government to expedite the process for approval of this proposal.
“In so far as the creation of public awareness is concerned, LAWDA through its status report indicated that a contract has been given to a private company and they will start the programme once the schools open after winter vacations,” the court said on the awareness programme which involves sensitising people through their participation, door to door campaign, Nukkad Natak, anchor scheme, dialogue theme, question/answer session and social acts.
On March 4, 2018, one such programme was launched, the court was told.
Advocate Shah suggested that the government should consider two weeks in a year for cleaning of all the lakes. “An intensive programme where students and other people would participate so that tourists would also be careful about the cleanliness of the lakes,” he said.
The court directed LAWDA to observe two weeks in a year as Lakes Conservation Weeks. “This is a very valid suggestion. We direct LAWDA to consider 2ndweek of May and 1st week of October as Lakes Conservation Weeks,” ordered the court.
For the smooth functioning of Dal Lake project, the court had directed the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to meet every month.
The court was informed today that the Scientific Advisory Committee was not complying with the court orders.
The 6th meeting of the Committee which was scheduled to be held at the end of February hadn’t taken place because most of the officials were out of state, Shah informed the court. He said the meeting has now been scheduled in the third week of March.
Earlier, LAWDA informed the court that it had submitted the proposal for shifting of houseboats to Dole Demb part of Dal Lake to the Housing and Urban Development Department.
“The project is to be funded by Central Government and state has to pursue the matter vigorously so that the DPR are examined,” said the court.
The court made it clear that the revised DPR should not come in the way for already utilised funds. Till now, Housing and Urban Development Department has released Rs 8.40 crore out of Rs 29.26 crore. The department was asked to release rest of the funds for Dole Demb project.
Regarding the regularisation of the staff of LAWDA, the court was told that the proposal has been received and is being examined. The court granted 8 weeks to complete the process.