LAWDA to install CCTVs around Dal

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Srinagar: The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) is all set to install at least 15 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras near major entry points of the Dal Lake to check illegal encroachments.

The step is being taken on the specific directions from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Secretary LAWDA Nisar Ahmad told KNS over phone that initially the department is installing 15 such cameras which would facilitate the Lawda to check the encroachments in and around Dal Lake.

The Dal Lake over the years is facing threat of illegal encroachment and other related activities.

Sources said the idea was floated in the recent meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti with officials from Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Srinagar Development authority and the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

During the meeting the Chief Minister asked authorities especially the (LAWDA), the body looking after the Dal, to explore feasibility of using CCTV to check encroachments and other prohibited activities in and around the lake, sources said.

“Dal Lake is fast disappearing and we urgently need a new action plan to save it. We need to shake up the administrative system from slumber and indifference towards this precious water body of Kashmir and also gear up the role of legal machinery to safeguard Dal,” sources quoted CM as having said.

Sources said the participants in meeting were even of the opinion that government should explore feasibility of making use of aerial/drone cameras (UAVs) for photography of lake area and adjoining area to achieve the target.

However sources said that a decision was taken to initially install the CCTV cameras to monitor the encroachments if any done.

After having taken the decision the LAWDA floated tender for purchase and installing of CCTV camera valuing at rupees 77 lacs. “The job shall be done in a phased manner and initially 15 cameras shall be installed,” said concerned executive engineer, Basharat Ahmad.

Sources said the Chief Minister was of the belief that using modern technology, including CCTVs, will help in curbing encroachments and transportation of building material to the lake area.

Sources said that with the go ahead to use CCTV for monitoring Dal Lake, it is for the first time that such technology will be used to save a water body from encroachment.

They maintained that suggestion was given to the government that CCTVs should be installed at all entry points in the Dal Lake and there should be a Control Room, where officials should be deputed round the clock to monitor the activities and transportation of building material within and around Dal Lake.

Sources said that though the transportation of building material in and around Dal Lake is prohibited, in the absence of 24×7 surveillance, the building material is being transported to the no-construction zone area in the Dal Lake area. (KNS)

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