SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the functioning of Jammu & Kashmir Lakes & Waterways Development Authority (JKLAWDA), here today.
Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department, Commissioner Secretary, Department of Forest, Ecology, and Environment, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Vice Chairman, JKLAWDA, Member Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir Pollution Control Committee and other concerned officers participated in the meeting.
While reviewing the efforts of the Department to improve the sanitation and cleanliness standards around the Dal Lake, the Chief Secretary directed the Vice-Chairman, JKLAWDA to start cleaning the Dal surface on a war footing by way of removal of scum from the surface of the lake.
With a view to increase participation and a sense of ownership amongst the public, the Chief Secretary impressed upon the concerned to organize a session for innovation for the public including University students under the initiative “My Dal My Idea” that shall give them an opportunity to share creative ideas / suggestions for betterment of the Dal Lake and the surrounding areas. The Chief Secretary also asked the Commissioner Secretary, Forest to organize a similar event for the environmentalists, wherein they can come up with out-of-the-box suggestions to improve the cleanliness of the lake and its surroundings. The Chief Secretary observed that the entry/registration for the competition should be made available online on departmental websites.
With regard to the surroundings and maintenance of the contours of Dal, the Chief Secretary asked the Department for the status of encroachments, existing and upcoming structures in the vicinity of the lake and directed to ensure that all such structures conform to the existing norms. The Chief Secretary was also briefed about the completion of delineation and demarcation with regard to the construction of the Western Foreshore Road (WFR).
Emphasizing display of data regarding the water quality of Dal Lake at public places, the Chief Secretary directed for conspicuously displaying the water quality data of the lake on billboards at places having maximum footfall of tourists/public. The Chief Secretary also asked the LAWDA authorities to increase aeration to improve water quality of the lake.
The Chief Secretary was apprised about the lake body interventions including the sewerage plan, de-weeding/Lilly extraction, dredging, solid waste issues, and houseboat sanitation. Besides, the Chief Secretary was also informed about the disposal of plastic waste collected in and around the lake. The Chief Secretary directed Commissioner, SMC, to explore more innovative means of disposal of the plastic viz, in the form of pellets for use in the road and cement industry, among others. The Chief Secretary also asked the Department to organize a workshop on “Biomass as a Resource” to explore effective utilization of weeds extracted out of the lake.