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Rs 600 crores, several years later, Dal shows no signs of improvement
1/21/2018 10:47:34 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Jan 21: Despite spending hundreds of crores of rupees on Dal Lake, the departments concerned have failed to restore pristine glory of the lake.
Official sources said that around Rs 600 crore have been spent on three conservation and management projects since 2005. Despite that the condition of the famed Dal Lake has deteriorated over the years. "A new lake could have been created by the money spent on the lake over the years," an official said. "There seems no accountability whether there has been any improvement in the lake despite spending Rs 600 crore on three projects," the official said.
In the current fiscal, official figures reveal that Rs 50 crore have been approved for the Dal Lake. Rs 23.59 crore for Rehabilitation/Re-settlement and Dev. of Rakh-i-Arth, Rs. 3.5 crore for construction of STPs and secondary /lateral, and Rs 10 crore for operation and maintenance of existing STPs/IPSs/Dredging De-weeding, lake cleaning machines, and Rs 2.3 crore for sewerage scheme Khonkhan. Most of the funds have already been released to the VC Lakes and Waterways Development Authority. "Spending such a huge amount and no visible change in the condition of the Dal raises serious questions on the working of officials," said Ali Mohammad, a resident of Nishat.
A major project 'National Lake Conservation Programme' was started in 2005 costing Rs 298.76 crore. Under the 'Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme' (PMRP) costing Rs 356 crore, over Rs 100 crores have been released so far. It was for acquisition of land and structures in Dal and Nigeen lake.
The third project was for the rehabilitation of the families dislocated from Dal and Nigeen lakes. The project at a cost of Rs 416 crore for development of site at Rakh-I-Arth for preparation of site and provision for infrastructure like road, water supply, electricity, drainage, and sewerage and other community facilities and providing house units to the dwellers under State plan and Central assistance 315.90 crore and 90.92 crore respectively. Even though crores of rupees have been spent so far, the authorities have failed to restore the beauty of the famed Dal.
"Almost all the funds released over the years have been spent on Dal Lake but there is no positive change. The LAWDA alone can't take steps for preservation of the Dal Lake. It is the responsibility of each individual and there should be close coordination of all government departments for preservation of the Lake and fundsare utilized properly," a senior official said wishing not to be named.
On the directions of the High Court, government has lately framed a monitoring committee headed by Chief Secretary for assessing works on the preservation of the Dal Lake.
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