Anchar, Gilsar, Khushalsar Lakes Fast Vanishing: HC

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Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday asked Vice Chairman of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority to provide maps, showing entire area of the Anchar, Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes in Srinagar which it observed were “fast vanishing.” 

A division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey made the observation and passed the directions after perusal of slides and video prepared by advocate Sajad Ahmad Mir, Assisting Amicus Curiae in a Public Interest Litigation, filed in 2002 for conservation and preservation of Dal Lake, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.

“From the said slides and video, it is evident that the Anchar Lake is fast vanishing. It is reported that the plight of Gilsar and Khulsar is also the same,” the court said and asked Sajjad to provide to slides and video to state counsel.  

Consequently, the court directed the LAWDA’s VC to submit maps “clearly demarcating the areas covered by the lakes.”

The report, court said, shall also indicate what was the original area covered by the lakes and to what extent the lakes have been restricted in the present day.

The LAWDA informed that it has submitted two separate proposals, one on Anchar and other in respect of Khushalsar and Gilsar for their reclamation and rejuvenation. “The same has to be expedited by ERA for obtaining the relevant funding from ADB,” the court said.

Nestled between Hawal and Zadibal areas, Gilsar and Khushalsar are two interconnected lakes which receive waters from Dal Lake. Both gradually flow into Anchar which in itself is connected with the Dal Lake through a waterway called Nallah Aamir Khan. 

The government of India has already refused a pre-feasibility report submitted by the state government for the conservation of lakes. 

 “A pre-feasibility report was submitted to GoI for conservation of Anchar, Khushalsar and Gilsar, the same was refused with observation that such projects can be considered only after sewerage of the areas is taken care first,” then VC, Sarmad Hafeez, had revealed in a compliance report filed by him before the high court.

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