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Dying Dal: Will minister ask LAWDA where has money gone?
5/20/2018 12:17:30 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, May 19: As the government on Friday appealed the general public to avoid polluting the water bodies, there are question marks over government's non-seriousness in safeguarding the water bodies.
The Tourism Minister on visited the interiors of Dal and Nageen Lakes to take stock of the ongoing de-weeding and cleaning at these water bodies. The minister was accompanied by officials of Tourism Department, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) and other allied departments.
What the minister has perhaps forgotten is the fact that it wasn't the people who have been acting as a spoilsport in damaging state's prized water bodies, but it is the government whose inefficiency has been taking a toll. What merits concern is where all the money that has been pumped by LAWDA into protecting the lake from getting further polluted has gone?
According to official documents in possession of Early Times, under various state and Centrally sponsored schemes, thousands of crores of rupees have been pumped for lake's protection.
Under Central Sector scheme Rs 191 lakh have been spent on Dal. The breakup of the expenditure informs that Rs 34 lakhs have been spent on sewerage treatment works while as Rs 115 lakhs on catchment management works. Further, the authorities claim to have spent Rs 27 lakh on the infrastructure.
In another scheme under the umbrella of the state sector called MH4217 and the amount spent in 2014 on the protection of Dal by this scheme was Rs 578 lakhs. Through Prime Minister's reconstruction program called PMRP, the state government claims to have spent Rs 2 crore in just one year alone. The state authorities claim that they have spent this amount on acquisition of land within Dal.
As the illegal constructions see no end around this world famous lake, the government claims that it has spent Rs 1.5 crores on rehabilitation and resettlement of people living around the lake.
In a similar fashion Rs 2.72 crores have been used over what the government earlier claimed de-weeding and cleaning of channels around the lake. Rs 1.65 crore was shown as an expenditure incurred upon administrative affairs.
Rs 91 lakhs have been used through another scheme in one year called B.S.U.P-JNNURM. Rs 89 lakhs have been spent on sewerage system and two lakh on rehabilitation.
Rs 133.57 lakhs have been spent under Urban Local grant in the year 2014 by the state authorities. Rs 1.32 crores were given away as the salaries for the staff while as the remaining amount was shown as the expenditure upon the telephone bills of babus.
Ironically and shocking for many, the depth of Dal lake is now reduced to an average 4.5 feet (1.2 metres) only while as 50 years earlier it was more than 45 feet.
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