J&K to restore and prevent world-famous Dal Lake

J&K to restore and prevent world-famous Dal Lake

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday directed authorities to take action on the various reports to restore and preserve the world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar summer capital.

The court has directed all authorities to ensure that proper follow up reports with regard to all the action points noted by the committee of experts to restore and preserve the world-famous Dal Lake, are drawn up as pointed out in several orders placed before the panel within six weeks from today, an official spokesman said.

A bench of Chief Justice of J&K High Court Gita Mittal and Justice Sindhu Sharma directed the secretary of Tourism Department to place the final draft of the guidelines for registration and renewal of registration of houseboats before the committee for their examination and recommendations, which shall be placed before the chief secretary of the Union Territory of J&K for taking a final view in the matter.

It directed the Department of Tourism to get examined a request received from the Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association enclosing a list of 110 houseboat owners who are willing to surrender the registration certificates of their houseboat units in lieu of rehabilitation, by the committee and a scheme be evolved with regard to those persons who have surrendered registrations.

The bench said it is heartening to note that the Tourism Department has completed the GIS tagging and physical mapping of the houseboats, as also of 273 hotels and guest houses in the Dal Lake with the technical assistance provided by the Remote Sensing Organization in Srinagar.

It directed the director of Remote Sensing Organization to take immediate steps and ensure that the entire data is appropriately uploaded on the official website.

It said registration and renewal of any of the houseboats, guesthouse, hotels and restaurants, shall be subject to a certification by the owners that they have removed all unauthorised and illegal structures which have been constructed by them and verification thereof by the Lakes and Waterway Development Authority (LAWDA).

The bench observed that the Dal Lake is a focal point of visit by all visitors to Kashmir and lakhs of tourists, both international and national, visit Srinagar and spend a lot of time in and around the Dal Lake.

However, it finds that there are no public conveniences available around the Dal Lake to facilitate for the convenience of the visiting public. There appears inadequate arrangements for garbage disposal as well, the court said.

Therefore the LAWDA and the Srinagar Municipal Corporation shall immediately identify appropriate points and take steps for creation of public toilets and action-taken reports be filed before the next date of hearing, it said.

The bench said several complaints have been made of unauthorised construction which needs to be continuously scrutinized.

It is therefore essential to have all existing structures video-graphed as well as photographed and a record maintained thereof, it said.

The bench said the principal district judge, Srinagar has already been appointed as a nodal officer and is directed to video-graph and photograph all buildings and structures in and around the Dal Lake, and also plot the same on a site plan.

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