Encroachers Shrink Dal Lake To 15 Square Km
23 January 2008
Jammu: Kashmir’s most famous Dal Lake has shrunk by 10 square kilometres since 1953. Massive encroachments, erection of many structures, house boats and hotels have led to the reduction in the size of the lake. “The area of Dal Lake was 25 square kilometre in 1953 and is 15 sq km in 2007 following several encroachments around the lake,” the minister for PHE and horticulture, Mr Dilawar Mir, informed the Assembly. He, however, added that the government was very much alive to the deteriorating condition of the beautiful lake and a massive conservation and management programme at a cost of over Rs 298 crore was taken up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. “A total Rs 298 crore has been approved by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and this programme, which started in 2005, will be completed by 2010,” he said adding that an action plan involving Rs 386 crore by Wild Life Protection Department for the Wullar Lake had been submitted to the Union Forests and Environment Ministry under PM’s Reconstruction Plan. A development authority has also been set up by the state government for the conservation of the Mansabal and Wullar lakes. He said that there had been no immediate threat to the water bodies in Ladakh region. “The Wildlife Protection department has submitted a comprehensive management action plan of Rs 26.28 crore for Tso-moriri Lake in Ladakh,” he added.