Don’t issue fresh registration to houseboats, HC directs govt

‘Gap between houseboats not uniform in Dal Lake’

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the government not to allow more houseboats in Dal and Nigeen lakes, saying no fresh registrations should be issued.
The direction was passed after a report of Committee of Experts (CoE) pointed out that the Dal and Nigeen lakes are already overcrowded. It recommended that the number of houseboats and Dongas should be reduced in the lakes.
The court recorded that reference is given to discussions with stakeholders and willingness of several houseboat owners to surrender the houseboats in view of the fact that it is no more profitable.
“The CoE has directed that the Tourism department and LAWDA to hold detailed consultation with stakeholders and come up with such policy which would facilitate de-registration and even surrendering boats,” the court said.
The report said that the houseboats and Dongas are parked in Dal lake without any fixed order and the gap between them is not uniform.
This has occurred because there are no guidelines or policy for registration of the houseboats and no consideration about the optimum carrying capacity, it said.
The court directed that a considered view may be taken on the recommendations of the CoE which would include the policy on registration, de-registration and surrendering of boats.
Meanwhile the court said, “We are informed that the secretary, Housing and UEED are joining meetings with the Committee of Experts on video conferencing. We would request the Chief secretary to interact with the Committee of Experts so that all matters which requires urgent decision and resolution are resolved without any delay,” it said.
The court will again hear the matter on December 24.

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