Govt mulls Rs 700 cr Boulevard project for Wular

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SRINAGAR: Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Chaudhary Lal Singh today said that Government is mulling a 34.58 kms Boulevard project at a cost of Rs 700 crore to revamp Wular lake.

The Minister said this during a review meeting to take stock of the measures taken for conservation of Wular here today.

“We are working on a Boulevard project coming up along the periphery of Wular Lake that will cost around Rs 700 crore,” Mr Singh said. “The project will be completely eco-friendly and only battery cars would be allowed to ply on the road.”

The Minister said conservation of  Wular besides, many other lakes and water bodies in the State is the top most priority of the Government and all necessary measures will be taken in this regard.

The meeting was attended by Chief Executive Director, Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WCMP) Mian Javed Hussain, Water Management Coordinator, Raashid Naqash, officiating Project Coordinator, Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) Project and other senior officers of the Department.

The meeting was informed that total perimeter of Wular Boundary is 83.6kms.  The proposed Wular Boulevard project will begin from Garoora to Sopore, covering around 34.58 kms of its periphery.

The officials said that under Eco-Tourism plan, various look-out points, wooden Ghats, tourist information centres, parking areas, besides many other initiatives would be undertaken and developed.

The officials informed the Minister about the progress of de-silting operation under the comprehensive Wular Conservation and Management Plan (WCMP). The Minister stressed on expediting the work to increase the water holding capacity of the lake at the earliest.  He underlined the importance of Wular Lake in protecting Kashmir valley from floods by acting as a huge water storage reservoir.

The Minister was informed that under the 13th Finance Commission, Rs 120 crore were sanctioned for conservation and protection measures in Wular Lake, out of which Rs 60 crore already stand allotted.

 

Later, the Minister was informed that entire periphery of the lake had been demarcated as per authentic revenue record which indicates a lake area of 130 sq kms. As many as 1,159 geo-tagged boundary pillars have been erected delineating the lake boundary from the adjoining areas. The Minister was also appraised that measures to arrest soil erosion in the catchment area have been taken by constructing check dams, protection banks and planting over 3 lakh trees.

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