Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Forest department will fell more than 18,000 trees which have grown in Asia`s largest freshwater lake, Wullar, to conserve it.
Minister for Forest and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad, who visited the twin lakes of Wullar and Manasbal yesterday, directed that the removal of willow plantation be started immediately in the area, an official spokesman said.
The department has earmarked 18,190 trees for felling inside the water body after which dredging of the entire area including removal of root system of willow trees will be carried out.
Ahmad directed the concerned officials to procure the necessary equipment for dredging the lake after felling of the trees is completed.
The Centre has sanctioned an amount of Rs 386 crore for Wullar Conservation and Management Action Plan.
The minister issued instructions for speeding the pace of ongoing works and following the norms laid for the purpose.
The progress of demarcation was also reviewed and the Minister was informed that 80 per cent of the demarcated work is complete and the rest is expected to be completed within three months.
Under catchment area treatment, 18 Micro watersheds were taken up for treatment under small scale engineering works, crate work and stream bank protection, the spokesman said.