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CS takes stock of Dal Lake conservation, beautification measures

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JAMMU: Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo Friday took review of the measures taken so far for the beautification and cleansing of the famous Dal and Nigeen Lakes here.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary, H&UDD; VC, Lakes Conservation & Management Authority (LCMA) besides other concerned officers.

During this meeting the Chief Secretary took note of the measures taken so far for the cleaning, beautification and conservation of this fresh water body. He observed that the lake has the significance of an insignia in terms of the tourism value of Srinagar city and needs our prior attention and focus for development.

He also emphasized upon taking effective measures to control the encroachment in the restricted area. He asked them to enhance the enforcement mechanism and ensure that no illegal structures are raised in the lake area. He called for showing zero tolerance towards any of the unlawful activity deemed detrimental for the health of the lake.

Dulloo called for preserving the environment of the lake besides taking other scientific measures for its conservation. He asked for making concerted efforts to remove the weeds and lily pads from the water surface. He stressed on restricting the untreated waste water into from going into the lake and optimal use of the STPs developed for preserving the lake from pollution.

Regarding the beautification of the lake the Chief Secretary asked for completing all the ongoing projects like installation of aerators and fountain clusters at different spots in the lake. He even asked for making a breakthrough in installation of the musical and high jet fountain in the lake as per the proposal.

The Chief Secretary also took note of the implementation of Rs 273 Cr Dal Lake conservation plan which includes components like dredging, catchment area management, development of sewerage network, Eco-parks, Viewing decks/jetties/ghats besides completion of other conservation works.

He even advised for exploring the possibility of the construction of ‘Ferris Wheel’ in PPP mode inside the lake area. He asked for seeking the consultancy services regarding the best possible mechanism of getting it installed here. He also asked for looking into the establishment of STP at Gupta Ganga as requested by the conservation authority.

In his presentation the Vice Chairperson LCMA, Bashir Ahmad threw light on different measures taken by them to conserve this water body. He also provided details of the projects completed so far and the physical progress of those under execution.

It was given out that the lake area has not decreased as per the earliest possible available records (1985 settlement by Sir Walter Lawrence). It was revealed that the area is almost same as per the ETS survey carried out in 2009 and satellite imagery.

Moreover, the authority had carried out delineation of Lake boundary for the first time, l besides carrying out drone survey done through SOI in the years 2020 and 2023.

Regarding taking of other steps it was said that the Bathymetric Survey for scientific deweeding /dredging has been done, plantation of 160000 plants for treatment of catchment area has also been completed.

In the last two years one third of the lake has been rejuvenated, 6.5 Sqkm has been cleared off lily and the open expanse of the Dal Lake has been increased for the first time to more than 20.3  sq kms.

As far as the waste & sewage management is concerned it was added that a load of 48 MLD load has been calculated out of which 36 MLD is catered by 5 STPs to which all the houseboats have been connected.

About the dredging of the lake it was given out that 20 navigation channels of length of 10 km stands retrieved. About 150,000 cum of silt has been dredged out from the settling basin during in last two years, the meeting was informed.

It was apprised that the programmable aerators cum fountains at seven clusters with more than 760 nozzle /fountains are going to be made functional soon. It was also revealed that the authority is in a process of installation of high super jet fountain of 85 mts tall inside Dal Lake.

The Bio-methanation of the weed had also been taken up in collaboration with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED).

For beautification of the lake, it was said that creation of green spaces, children parks, eating joints, food-courts, toilet blocks and parking is being developed.

For the purpose of monitoring of lake quality parameters, Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System is being deployed at STPs. Installation of 48 CCTV cameras have  been installed to keep check on illegal transportation of construction material in the prohibited areas of the lake, the meeting was apprised.

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