|Dal has immutable, tamperproof Map despite J&K Govt’s loathness |
|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Feb 27: There is now a digital map of Dal Lake which, according to Committee of Experts (CoE) which was constituted by the High Court, clearly reveals boundaries of the water body.
Interestingly, the map, “immutable and tamperproof”, has been prepared even as officials of Government of J&K expressed their inability to provide the reliable certified cadastral map of complete Dal-Nigeen Lake.
“Right from the first meeting held with the concerned officers of the different Departments of J&K namely, VC LAWDA, Div. Commissioner/Srinagar, Dy.Com Srinagar, Pr. Secy HUDD, SPCB, J & K Remote Sensing Agency and others, the CoE had been asking for the basic cadastral map of the Lake and its surrounding areas,” reads a report submitted by CoE before the High Court.
After much dilly-dallying, CoE said, the concerned Tehsildar, village officer and village man appeared before the committee with ‘the available maps’ when it was found that revenue maps of the complete Lake was not available.
“There were a number of gaps in the jigsaw. Interestingly, this came as a surprise even to the senior officials and to VC, LAWDA who were under the belief that revenue maps were available,” CoE said. The village-man who alone seemed to have a clue regarding survey maps, CoE said, after much hesitation submitted that some of the maps had got destroyed in a fire in the village office in the 90s.
“The Members were stunned. To understand the slew of problems facing the Lake one first needed to know its boundary demarcation which was impossible without a cadastral map. So the Govt of J&K officials finally expressed their inability to provide the reliable certified cadastral map of complete Dal-Nigeen Lake,” CoE said, adding, “The CoE immediately contacted the Surveyor General of India; a Member also made a visit to that office in Dehradun. After discussions, the surveyor General agreed as a special case, to take up demarcation of the boundaries of the Lake as existed in 1980 which map was available in the office of 13 Surveyor General of India.”
The map previous to this was from pre-Independence, of 1923, the CoE said. “This work was taken up by the Surveyor General as a special case as the work of carrying out cadastral survey and maintaining land records data, textual and spatial, is a State subject and the responsibility of the state/ UT.”
In the shortest possible time, CoE said the team from Survey of India using Geo-Positioning Stations (GPS) demarcated the Lake boundary with regular georeferenced points with coordinates in system WGS-84. “This implies that the boundary marked is as per international standards acceptable globally. Thereafter, the digitalized geo-referenced ground-truthed map was handed over to VC LAWDA by the Office of the Surveyor General of India within 4 months as desired by the CoE.”
This digital map of the boundary of the Dal-Nageen is now immutable and tamperproof, CoE said. “Since the map is digital, it is impossible for it to get destroyed by fire or for anyone to tamper with the boundary demarcation,” CoE said, adding, “Not only did the Govt. of J&K not have the competence or capacity to prepare such a map but with the availability of this map now, there is no confusion as to where the boundary of the Dal runs. Any professional would understand that such a map should have been prepared decades ago as without it, all discussions on number and identity of encroachers, land-holders or the alignment of boundary road or the total area of the Lake and how much reduction it has faced, is meaningless, the CoE underlined.