A Visit To Dal Not Free Anymore

A Visit To Dal Not Free Anymore

13 January 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
M Aamir Khan

Srinagar: A visit to the Valley’s famed Dal Lake is not going to be free anymore. The authorities have started charging Rs 10 per visit to the lake famous for its shikaras and houseboats. “The entry fee to the Mughal Gardens is Rs 20 and we are only charging a nominal fee of Rs 10 with effect from January 1 for entry to the lake through its ghats,” Irfan Yasin, vice-chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), told The Tribune. Both tourists and locals usually take a shikara ride in the lake, while some also go for a swim there in the summers. The lake and its shikaras and houseboats have featured in several Bollywood movies, especially those shot before the eruption of militancy in the state and tourists make it a point to visit the place during their Kashmir trip. Even as visitors to the lake would not feel the pinch, those living around the lake might not feel the same. The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority will also be charging Rs 100 per household on a monthly basis as sewage charges. The fee will be applicable to those households connected to the LAWDA sewage network. Besides, hotels operating around the lake will be paying more to the authority. Yasin said hotels would be paying up to Rs 2,000 per month depending on the number of rooms they have. Defending the decision, he said the charges collected would be used for the maintenance of the lake, which had always managed to remain in news mainly on account of its shrinking size or pollution concerns. Over the last three decades, around Rs 500 crore has been spent on the preservation of the lake, which is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by picturesque mountain on three sides. The charges The authorities have started charging Rs 10 per visit to the lake Even as the visitors to the lake will not feel the pinch, those living around the lake may not feel the same The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority will also be charging Rs 100 per household on a monthly basis as sewage charges