J&K: Open expanse of Dal Lake increased to 20.3 sq kms in past 2 years

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JAMMU: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday said one-third of Dal Lake in Srinagar has been rejuvenated and its open expanse has been increased for the first time to more than 20.3 square kilometres.

The information was given at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo here to review the measures taken so far for the beautification and cleansing of the famous Dal and Nigeen lakes, an official spokesman said.

The Chief Secretary took note of the implementation of Rs 273 crore Dal Lake conservation plan which includes works like dredging, catchment area management, development of sewerage network, eco-parks, viewing decks, jetties and ghats and other conservation works.

In the last two years, the spokesman said the meeting was informed, one-third of the Dal lake has been rejuvenated, 6.5 sqkms has been cleared off lily and the open expanse has been increased for the first time to more than 20.3 sqkms.

The lake area has not decreased as compared to the earliest possible available records (1985 settlement by Sir Walter Lawrence), the meeting noted, adding, the area is almost the same as per a survey carried out in 2009 and satellite imagery.

Moreover, the authority delineated lake boundary for the first time, besides carrying out drone surveys in 2020 and 2023.

The meeting was also informed that a bathymetric survey for a scientific de-weeding and dredging has been done and plantation of 1.60 lakh plants for treatment of catchment area has also been completed.

As far as the waste and sewage management is concerned, a load of 48 million litre per day, or MLD, has been calculated out of which 36 MLD is catered by five STPs to which all the houseboats have been connected.

About dredging of the lake, it was revealed that 20 navigation channels 10 km in length were retrieved. About 150,000 cubic metre of silt has been dredged out from the settling basin during the last two years.

The meeting was told that the programmable aerators-cum-fountains at seven clusters with more than 760 nozzle or fountains are going to be made functional soon, while the concerned authority is in a process of installing a high super jet fountain of 85 metre tall inside Dal Lake, the spokesman said.

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

For beautification of the lake, it was said creation of green spaces, children parks, eating joints, food-courts, toilet blocks and parking area are being developed.

For the purpose of monitoring of lake quality parameters, an Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System is being deployed at STPs, the spokesman said, adding, 48 CCTV cameras have been installed around the lake to keep a vigil on illegal transportation of construction material in the prohibited areas of the lake.

Addressing the meeting, the chief secretary asked the officers to enhance the enforcement mechanism and ensure that no illegal structures are raised in the lake area.

He called for “zero tolerance” towards any unlawful activity deemed detrimental to the health of the lake.

He called on stakeholders to make concerted efforts to remove the weeds and lily pads from the water surface.

The Chief Secretary also suggested exploring the possibility of the setting up a ‘Ferris Wheel’ inside the lake area.

Source:- (PTI)

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