Need to look for alternatives, say locals
Srinagar: Heaps of weeds removed from the Dal Lake and dumped along the scenic Boulevard Road here in the capital’s Civil Lines are ‘irking’ the locals and tourists alike who say that it is “taking the sheen off” from this famous outing place.
Every summer, men and machinery are deployed by the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to remove lily patches and macrophytes from the lake as part of cleaning operations. After this, however, they are unloaded at various spots on Boulevard Road before taken to the dumping site.
Around one thousand skilled and non-skilled labourers have been engaged for the task apart from three weed harvesters and two skimmers to carry out the de-weeding operations. During the recent visit of Governor N N Vohra, the authorities were directed to intensify the cleaning operations.
But, according to the locals, the weeds lay there for days, blocking the footpaths and creating a foul smell.
The labourers loading the weeds in the trucks said they continuously carry the weeds away from these places, but more and more keeps accumulating daily, making it difficult to keep the pace.
“It is a good sign that the work is going on such a rate and there are visible changes in the lake, but the weeds are unloaded at many places which ruins the aesthetics of the place,” a group of locals told Kashmir Reader. “There should be more designated places for the unloading, so that the whole stretch is not affected.”
LAWDA has already dedicated a few unloading points near the foreshore road, but according to the authority’s Vice Chairman, Abdul Hafiz Shah, the spots are too far from the boulevard and the load in the boats and machines cannot be taken that far.
“The nature of the job is such that we have to unload it at certain points from where they can be lifted. We try to remove the load as soon as possible and I was personally monitoring the work,” Shah said.
“Since the trucks were not allowed to ply in the city during day time, it looked like the weeds were not being cleared regularly,” he said.
Replying to a question about designating more permanent unloading points, the VC said that the lake is big in area and they will see if there is a need for more sites.
“We will see if there is need to create more such sites, and if the need arises, we will do that accordingly,” Shah said.