SRINAGAR The Jammu and Kashmir high court has directed Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing to place satellite images of Khushalsar and Anchar lakes on record.
The directions by a division bench headed by Chief Justice Gita Mital followed submission by senior advocate and amicus curie Mr. Z. A. Shah that the Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing has only placed satellite mapping of the Dal and Nigeen Lake. No effort has been made to take satellite mapping of the Khushalsar Lake and Anchar Lake, he said. Following the submissions, the division bench directed the department to ensure that satellite images of these two Lakes is also prepared and placed on record of the court.
In one o the previous hearings, the court had observed the Anchar Lake, Gilsar and Khushalsar lakes are fast vanishing.
Consequently, the court had directed the LAWDAs VC to submit maps clearly demarcating the areas covered by the lakes.
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.
Meanwhile, Prasanna Ramaswamy, Vice Chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Srinagar made submissions on several aspects including steps which are underway with regard to identification of unauthorized houseboats which are anchored on the Dal Lake; identification of the persons who are maintaining floating gardens; identification of Dal dwellers who have to be rehabilitated; steps taken against the persons who are living on the peripheries of Dal Lake and are discharging sewage in the Dal Lake; stoppage of use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and several other steps.
We also find that LAWDA has been made cognizant of the fact that closure of activities as floating gardens and houseboats would result in loss of livelihoods. While suggesting effective measures for the rehabilitation of such families, LAWDA would take suggestions from Committee of Experts which would give their expert opinion in the matter to minimize the trauma of displacement of such persons, the court added.