Altaf chairs WUCMA meeting

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Directs for effective implementation of Wullar Lake conservation project

JAMMU  – The Minister for Forests and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad today asked for effective implementation of  conservation project at the Asia’s biggest water body- ‘ The Wullar Lake’ and directed to ensure hundred percent expenditure of the funds released by the centre under 13th Finance Commission.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA), Mian Altaf who is also its Chairman, called for undertaking various conservation measures in a planned manner so that impact of the works was felt on the ground.

For this purpose, he suggested to divide the Lake into Segments and Zones for taking up the preservation works in a phased manner. He said there should be no overlapping of conservation works adding that eco-tourism aspect of the Wullar Lake and its surroundings need to be taken into account, while undertaking dredging of earthen mess and silt from the water body.

He said in the process of dredging, it should be ensured that standing trees and bio mass in the water body is uprooted completely to check their re-emergence.

Mian Altaf asked the concerned authorities to deploy only dedicated and efficient officers for the works being taken up by WUCMA. He also urged for transparent tendering process for conservation works to ensure competitive bidding. He asked the concerned officers to construct common latrine/lavatories in the surroundings of Wullar Lake so that flow of sewerage and wastage in the Lake is checked. He also directed for immediate aforestation of the Wullar catchment areas to check erosion of soil. He also ordered for setting up of an Office Complex where all the departments and field agencies associated with WUCMA can be established under one roof. He said this would help to maintain coordination among various agencies.

Mian Altaf also stressed for involvement of the people for conservation of the Wullar Lake for better results. “It is our collective duty to protect water bodies and environment from the pollution, Mian Altaf added.

 Mian Altaf also asked the officers to develop a modern Fish Farm in the vicinity of the water body to boost economic and tourist activities in the area.

The meeting was attended by legislators Mr. Nizam-u-din Bhat and Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ganie, Financial Commissioner, Mr. M. Iqbal Khanday, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Vinod Ranjan Commissioner Secretary Irrigation and FC Mr. Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Commissioner Secretary Forests, Mr. Aijaz Iqbal,  Additional Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Abdul Razaq, Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla Mr. Ghulam Ahmad Khawaja, Project Coordinator WUCMA Mr. M. M. Hussain, Project Coordinator , Water Management Mr. Shuja Hydari and other senior officer for forest and fisheries.

 Earlier, the conservation works taken up at the Lake were   shown through a power point presentation.

 

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