Srinagar: For the last over three weeks, de-weeding process of famed Dal Lake has come to a grinding halt resulting in the proliferation of noxious weeds and lily pads.
Due to huge infestation of weeds, large parts of the lake have been covered by algae. Even excessive weeds could be seen around Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC). In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured this portion of the lake.
Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Dal Lake, said de-weeding work has been stopped since August 5.
“Lakes and Water Ways Development Authority (LAWDA) would clean a portion of the lake either manually or mechanically. But for the last three weeks nothing has been done. With the result excessive growth of weeds has engulfed the lake,” Bashir said.
Problem in the lake interiors is much worse with weeds choking the waterbed. “One can feel that the famous lake has turned into a swamp,” he added.
Mohammad Subhan, a resident of Brane Nishat, said it is perhaps for the first time that the Lake is in such a pathetic state. “Government has completely ignored this lake for last three weeks,” he added.
An official of LAWDA said authorities had launched a massive cleanness drive this year, but all these efforts have been wasted due to the current situation.
“The process for de-weeding has been stopped. It is really a matter of concern that excessive weeds have engulfed the famed lake. I don’t know how the government would remove so much of weeds,” he said.
All efforts to contact Vice Chairman, LAWDA, did not fructify as he was not available for comments.
Sources said authorities have spent Rs 800 crores on the conservation of Dal Lake for the last 16 years.
In July, Governor Satya Pal Malik blamed hotel and houseboat owners for polluting Dal Lake.
“See the condition of Dal Lake. We are going to cancel licences of those who fail to install STPs. We will restore its lost glory within 18 months. People living in the lake will also be rehabilitated,” the Governor had said.