J&K Govt assures judicious use of funds to save Dal Lake

Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 18:13

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government
assured judicious use of funds earmarked to save the Dal Lake
and sought cooperation of the people in restoring the pristine
glory of world famous lake.

"Restoration the pristine glory of Dal Lake is the top
priority of the National Conference led government. There
should be no misgiving or apprehension on this account,"
minister of state for Tourism Nasir Aslam Wani told reporters
here adding the funds earmarked for the project would be
utilised judiciously.

The rehabilitation process of dwellers has started. "We
are moving 500 displaced families affected by the Dal
conservation drive to Rakh-e-Aarth shortly," the minister said
adding 700 plots are available there.

The Centre is fully funding Rs 356 crore rehabilitation
project for the Dal dwellers. The money would be utilised for
paying compensation for land and structures of the Dal
dwellers, so that they can be moved out of the water body, the
minister said.

Wani said the rehabilitation of affected families got
delayed, as the government wanted to create all facilities for
them at the identified place before shifting them there.

"It is our responsibility to create basic facilities for
the displaced families. We can`t lift them and dump them
there."

Claiming that no construction has taken place inside the
lake over the past couple of years, he appealed to cooperate
with the authorities in restoring the glory of the lake, a
major attraction for tourists visiting Kashmir valley.

"Please follow the construction rules. Government will
not tolerate violation of rules and will take stern measures,"
he said adding "People have to cooperate".

Asked about the construction of hotels at Krali Sangri
hillock overlooking the lake, Wani refused to comment saying
"The matter is sub-judice."

"I will look into the matter and see whether construction
work was still going on," he said in reply to another
question.

The minister strongly denied reports suggesting funds
earmarked for Dal Lake have been diverted to other projects.
"There is no question of diversion of funds from the Dal lake
project. The golf course was already operational in 2002 and
hence there was no requirement of funds," he said.

Asked to comment on allegations that poor families are
being displaced, while the rich are left untouched, Wani said
clear directions have been passed to the concerned to follow
the rules strictly. "I assure you that there will be no
discrimination."

He said all the hotels along the Boulevard Road will be
connected with the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) so that
their garbage do not flow directly to the Lake.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 18:13

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