|Rs 10 cr spent on 'saving Dal' in 3 yrs, result = 0|
Early Times Report
srinagar, Apr 21: Even as more than Rs 10 crore has been spent on dredging, cleaning and deweeding of the Dal lake in the last three years, there's no visible improvement in the condition of the dying lake.
Giving details, sources told Early Times that an amount of Rs 4.06 cr was spent on cleaning, dredging and deweeding of the Dal during 2015-16 year; Rs 3.54 cr in 2016-17; and Rs 2.77 in 2017-18.
Sources said the government of India has also released Rs 273.85 cr for conservation of Dal and Nigeen lakes. "Out of the total package of Rs 356.30 cr, Rs 83.18 cr has been released under PMDP as well," sources maintained.
However, the condition of the Dal is deteriorating by the day. "A new lake could have been created by the money spent on the lake over the years," an official said. "There seems to be no mechanism to check whether there has been any improvement in the condition of the lake despite spending a huge amount,"
Sources said it has been seen that the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) is only carrying out de-weeding around the SKICC as the centre hosts important functions.
"Government has also failed to complete the rehabilitation of the Dal dwellers within a time frame and all these projects have missed the deadlines," sources said.
"Spending such a huge amount and no visible change in the condition of the Dal raises serious questions on the working of officials," said Habiullah, a resident of Shalimar.
It is to mention here that a major project 'National Lake Conservation Programme' was started in 2005 costing Rs 298.76 crore. Under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme' (PMRP) costing Rs 356 crore, over Rs 100 crores have been released so far. It was for acquisition of land and structures in Dal and Nigeen lake.
The third project was for the rehabilitation of the families dislocated from Dal and Nigeen lakes. The project at a cost of Rs 416 crore for development of site at Rakh-i-Arth for preparation of site and provision for infrastructure like road, water supply, electricity, drainage, and sewerage and other community facilities and providing house units to the dwellers under State plan and Central assistance 315.90 crore and 90.92 crore respectively.
"Almost all the funds released over the years have been spent on Dal but there is no positive change. The LAWDA alone can't take steps for preservation of the Dal. It is the responsibility of each individual and there should be close coordination of all government departments for preservation of the lake and funds are utilized properly," a senior official said wishing not to be named.
On the directions of the High Court, government has lately framed a monitoring committee headed by Chief Secretary for assessing works on the preservation of the Dal Lake.
The government had framed three centre and state sponsored major projects designed to lease fresh life to the Dal Lake. "Instead the condition of the famed water body should have been improved; it has degraded despite spending huge amount of money since inception of these schemes due to mismanagement of the authorities," sources maintained.
The Dal Lake is famous across the world and most of the tourists visit Srinagar to see the famed lake. The Lake is divided into four basins Small Dal, Big Dal, Gagribal and Nigeen besides small and big Dal have each an island in the centre known as Rup or Charchinari.