The Minister for Housing and Urban Development Sat Sharma today directed the officers to synergize their efforts to ensure conservation of the world-famous Dal Lake.He said that the fresh water body is a part of State’s heritage and also important for the sustenance of ecology, besides being an important parameter of State tourism industry.The Minister expressed these views during comprehensive tour of the Dal Lake and its interiors to take on the spot cognizance of the steps taken for the conservation of the lake by the Government, besides getting the first-hand feedback about the status of implementation of various central and state government initiatives.Sat Sharma was accompanied by a team of Ministers including Minister for Irrigation and PHE Sham Choudhary, Minister for Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Mohammed Ashraf Mir, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash, along with Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development K B Aggarwal, VC LAWDA and other senior officers were accompanying the Minister.During the tour of all four basins of Dal including Nehru Park, Nishat, Hazaratbal, and Nigeen, the Ministers also interacted with the local population and also the houseboat owners.
While inspecting the de-weeding work carried out in the lake, Sat Sharma said that officers should redouble their efforts for ensuring that the proper de-weedification of the fresh water body, so that it is freed from the algal growth and other related things like eutrophication as it would further improve the quality of the water.He said that the officers should also take expert advice from various limnologists which would further supplement their efforts and ensure scientific conservation of the world-famous water body.While reviewing the work on the Doldum project, the Minister directed the officers to ensure that the shifting of Houseboats under the programme is made possible. He said that they should start fruitful negotiation process with the stakeholders and also ensure that they are provided adequate compensation.Sat Sharma also directed for actively involving the people living in the vicinity of the water body for undertaking a holistic conservation and preservation programme. He said that the people should be made aware regarding the importance of saving the Dal as it is one of the most important factors of State’s tourism as well it rich cultural heritage.On encroachment issue being done along the periphery of the Dal lake and its catchment areas, the Minister directed the VC LAWDA the practice should be stopped at once and anyone found guilty should be punished as per the law.
The Minister also urged for geo-mapping of the areas of the Dal Lake and its catchment areas so that a scientific record of the actual land area of the water body is made available. He said these records could serve as referral material for the actual land and the encroachments being done.He said that since judiciary is also monitoring the same it is imperative that we should be very strict viz-a-viz the encroachments and safeguarding the actual area of the Dal Lake.While interacting, the group of Ministers also urged on need for restoring and maintaining the ecology of the Valley.The Ministers said that Dal and other water bodies are part of our heritage and it is important for the sustenance of our ecology that everyone does their bit in Government’s endeavor to preserve them.They urged that the projects undertaken by the state and central government should be completed within the stipulated time frame so that it is scientifically conserved.Later Sat Sharma visited the upcoming colony for the Dal dewellers coming up at Rakh-e-Arath in the Bemina locality.The Minister was accompanied by VC LAWDA and other senior officers.
While asking the officers to speed up the process of developing the colony, the Minister said that they should ensure that it should be replete with all the basic as well as modern facilities, so that people here do not face any difficulty after moving here. He said that such should be the facilities available here that the people who are relocated should not feel out of place.The Minister was informed that those who are yet to be given plots would soon be provided with their rightful due.Sat Sharma later visited Aloochibagh and inspected the pace of work on the playground being constructed there. He was accompanied by MLA Batamaloo Noor Mohammed Sheikh and other senior officers.On the occasion, the Minister directed to expedite the completion work of the ground so that the children in the area can avail the facility for playing and other physical activity.