Srinagar: In a dismal report submitted before the High Court on Wednesday, the water quality of Dal Lake was stated to be deteriorating with every passing day due to pollutants flowing into the lake continuously in large amounts. Rampant illegal construction on the banks of the Dal was also reported first-hand in the report.
The report submitted by the court-appointed ‘vigilance commissioners’ Mohammad Shafi Khan and Abdul Hameed Bhat categorically stated that the flow of pollutants was responsible for the worsening water quality of Dal Lake. It also said that lily weeds removed last year had surfaced again in the lake, further choking the water flow.
The report stated that de-weeding done by machines in Dal Lake showed only temporary results, with weeds appearing again after a while. The report recommended manual de-weeding as a more effective measure.
“There are still a lot of weeds in the middle of Dal Lake as well as in the area of Kabutar Khana. Tourists were found complaining about this issue. The exception is the Boulevard side, where the lake is comparatively clear of weeds,” states the report.
The report submitted that the Court Commissioners visited the area of Nai Sadak on the rear side of Dalgate and found that the condition of the lake was horrible. They said the area “seems to be totally neglected and is polluted beyond imagination.”
The report apprised the court of a dilapidated structure standing in a shabby condition in the middle of the lake near the western Fore Shore road. The structure used to be called as Hotel Savoy but now has been abandoned. Reportedly, compensation has been paid to the owner but the structure has not been demolished, the report stated. The report pleaded that that the concerned department be directed to do the needful in this regard.
The court commissioners in their report informed that in a very strange incident on the back side of Nehru Park (Zaika Restaurant), it was found that a person was filling the water with soil and weed and the weed was provided to him by people from LAWDA (Lakes and Waterways Development Authority) who were cleaning the same on the other side of the lake.
The report stated that the court commissioners also visited Saida Bagh area of Saida Kadal and witnessed there huge illegal construction underway. The construction seemed to be commercial and was being carried out right on the banks of the water channel, the report stated. “As soon as we arrived on the spot, the labourers as well as the alleged violator escaped from the spot,” the report said. “The deputy superintendent who was accompanying us informed us that the construction was a number of times demolished and more than one FIR was lodged against the violator, namely Showkat Ahmed. However, he had not stopped the construction. It is further submitted that these kind of illegal constructions are usually undertaken with the help of the touts who facilitate the violators in ferrying of the material.”
The court commissioners suggested that two check-points along with CCTVs may be directed to be installed immediately, one on the Saida Kadal side and one on the bridge at Ashai Bagh side, as these two areas are vulnerable with respect to illegal ferrying of construction material.
The report further stated that on the main road near Saida Kadal, where the water channel is being dredged, the mud extracted is proving to be a blessing in disguise for local land owners. “The mud is being used to fill the low and marshy land which is being used for illegal constructions,” the report stated.