Srinagar- Seven tourists and two families had a miraculous escape on Thursday after a houseboat capsized into the Dal Lake following incessant rains in the Kashmir Valley over the past few day.
Mohammad Yousuf, owner of the houseboat said that his houseboat “Kolhai” sank into the Dal Lake today morning and said that besides two families there were seven tourists in the houseboat when it started to sank, reported news agency KNO.
He said that he along with other family members first evacuated the tourists as house boat was slowly sinking and somehow they managed to take them to safer place. “After taking tourists to safer place, we evacuated other family members.”
Meanwhile, he said that their house boat is old and they had requested the authorities to give them permission so that they can repair it, however, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
He added that had government allowed them to repair the house boat, this incident would have not happened.
“We are now homeless, as the house boat has suffered massive damage. We appeal to the authorities to provide compensation, besides permission to repair our house boat,” he said.
Govt Sets Up Panel For Houseboats
The government on Thursday constituted a advisory-cum-regulatory committee for regulating compliance by houseboats, an official order said.
The panel will be led by Director Tourism Kashmir while Vice Chairman, Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) will be Co-chairman. Besides, the committee will have five members including Deputy Director Tourism (Registration), Secretary, LCMA), Assistant Director, F&ES, Srinagar and two members nominated by chairman Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association (KHBOA).
The order said that the committee will identify areas of concern regarding preservation of the lake body with regard to the houseboats, point out measures to be taken for increasing tourist influx to the lake and houseboats in particular and review measures for proper and scientific waste disposal from houseboats and any other areas of concern.
“The committee shall also be responsible for scrutinizing all documents of houseboat(s) for issuance/ renewal of registration. Ensuring adherence of the fire safety related guidelines by the houseboat owner(s), Ensuring functional bio-digester or similar Sewage Treatment system for Solid/Liquid Waste is installed and Making surprise inspections of houseboats to check overcharging by the Houseboats and facilities as per entitlement are made available to them,” it added
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