Srinagar: Expressing dismay over the slow pace of conservation work with regard to the conservation of Wullar lake , the Chief Minister Thursday called for deployment of more men and machinery on the project and accomplishing it within a set time-frame in a mission mode. She called for approaching the Dredging Corporation of India for taking up the dredging the lake on a larger scale.
Underlining the importance of Wullar Lake in protecting the Kashmir valley from floods, Mehbooba said the de-silting effort launched under the comprehensive Wullar Conservation and Management Plan needs greater impetus to increase the water holding capacity of the lake.
The ongoing conservation and protection measures for eco-restoration of Wullar Lake, its feeder channels, associated wetlands and marshes should gain momentum in view of the devastating floods that struck Kashmir in September 2014, she said while stressing the need for creating alternative economic and employment avenues for the local population affected by the conservation project. The local population shall have to be provided alternative employment avenues by promoting sheep farming, dairying, fisheries etc.
The meeting was informed that under the 13th Finance Commission, Rs 60 crore were sanctioned and released for taking up conservation and protection measures in Wullar Lake.
Till date, Rs 45.39 crore has been utilized for survey and demarcation, catchment conservation and water management of Wullar Lake including de-silting, the meeting was told.
The meeting was informed that the entire periphery of the lake had been demarcated as per authentic revenue record which indicates a lake area of 130 sq kms, of which 27-square kms of lake area is critically silted. As many as 1,159 geo-tagged boundary pillars have been erected delineating the lake boundary from the adjoining areas.
The Chief Minister also discussed future funding requirements of the project with directions to the Forest Department to submit a proposal that would ensure uninterrupted funding to accomplish the remaining operations for conservation of Wullar Lake as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR).
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