Mehbooba’s brother keen on Dal conservation

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SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tasaduq Mufti, who let speculations go wild over his prospective entry into politics following the demise of his father–spend some good time in the Dal lake here on  Wednesday –discussing  its conservation with the officials, experts and some businessmen.

Flanked by officials including Lakes and Waterway Development Authority(LAWDA), Vice-Chairman Sarmad Hafeez and Director Tourism Mehmood Shah, Tasaduq held an extensive tour of the lake.  Sources privy to the voyage said, around a dozen high profile persons, boarded the LAWDA motorboat at Nehru Park for a three-hour ride.

Insiders said Tasaduq looked upset to see that despite spending of millions not much has been achieved towards the conservation of the lake, a major attraction for tourists coming to Kashmir.

While Director Tourism Mehmood Shah, who is a prominent hiker, intermittently apprised the team about the ecological issues, VC LAWDA Sarmad Hafeez  explained measures being undertaken by the government to improve water quality in the lake. 

Sharing some lighter moments, Hafeez said most of the LAWDA resources get exhausted in legal matters as “our officials have to spend three to four days a week in trial-rooms, to give status reports.”

Some of the guests including businessmen from outside state put forth their ideas to “conserve the lake in a much better way.” Expert on Dal conservation and founding Director at LAWDA, Dr Ali Muhammad Kundangar, who was part of the cruise complained that over the years the purpose of the LAWDA has been “high-jacked” and it now functions as more of “engineering department.”

While others spoke at length, Tasaduq who is seen as a patient listener, spent most of the time taking feedback. But he made one thing clear. “Dal lake is pride of Kashmir and we cannot let it die,” he said.

After cruising towards the Kabotar Khana, the team visited Dole Demb waters followed by a brainstorming session at a houseboat, where mouthwatering delicacies were waiting for the high profile guests.

The daylong tour concluded near the Foreshore road banks. Some of the invitees who spoke to Kashmir Observer termed Tasaduq an “amazing guy.” “He is a patient listener like his father,” they said.

Since the death of his father and then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7, speculations have been rife that Tasaduq will join politics, while the PDP leadership has left the fingers crossed. 

Tasaduq, a cinematographer by profession, in the past stayed away from Kashmir and politics, alike. He spent his considerable time in the US and subsequently shifted to Bengalaru. But since Mufti’s demise he has been mostly in Kashmir, with his sister Mehbooba.

On January 17, on her instructions, he attended the crucial meeting of PDP leaders held at their Fairview residence to decide the future of government formation with the BJP.  Even though Tasaduq didn’t speak a word at the meeting, his presence was of significance.

 

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