Save Dal: In a first, open expanse of lake increases to over 20.3 sqkm

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2020 8largeimg 651367871

JAMMU:  For the first time, the open expanse of Dal Lake has been increased to more than 20.3  sq km.

“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 km,” said Bashir Ahmad, Vice Chairperson, Lakes Conservation & Management Authority (LCMA).  

Bashir was giving a presentation in the meeting about the measures taken to save the lake. Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo chaired the meeting to review the measures for the beautification and cleansing of the famous Dal and Nigeen Lakes.

The meeting was attended by the 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 freshwater body. He observed that the lake has the significance of insignia in terms of the tourism value of Srinagar city and needs our prior attention and focus for development.

He also emphasized 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 activities deemed detrimental to the health of the lake.

Dulloo called for preserving the environment of the lake besides taking other scientific measures for its conservation. He asked to make concerted efforts to remove the weeds and lily pads from the water surface. He stressed restricting the untreated wastewater 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 to complete all the ongoing projects like the installation of aerators and fountain clusters at different spots in the lake. He even asked for a breakthrough in the 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 the 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 exploring the possibility of the construction of a ‘Ferris Wheel’ in PPP mode inside the lake area. He asked for consultancy services regarding the best possible mechanism for getting it installed here. He also asked to look into the establishment of STP at Gupta Ganga as requested by the conservation authority.

In his presentation, the Vice Chairperson of 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 the same as per the ETS survey carried out in 2009 and satellite imagery.

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

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

 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 stand 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 the process of installing of high super jet fountain 85 mts tall inside Dal Lake.

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

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

For monitoring of lake quality parameters, an 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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