Manasbal, Nov 25: Kashmir's largest and deepest sweet water Lake at Manasbal with more than 1200 springs would, to an extent, resemble the world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar once the construction of the pathway and the bund around its banks is completed.
The Wullar-Manasbal Development Authority, headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nazir Ahmad Mir, plan to construct the pathway and the bund, an embankment providing paved public walk, around the entire eleven km Lake periphery.
Manasbal Lake, about 32 km from Srinagar in Ganderbal district, attracted a good number of tourists this year due to promotional efforts by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
The development authority has taken several initiatives to improve the appearance of the Lake and its surrounding areas.
''In the initial phase, about one km of pedestrian walkway has been constructed while the work is in full swing on the second km run along the Manasbal lake,'' Mr Mir told the sources.
As many as seven villages exist on the shores of the lake, covering an area of around 2.5 km and still expanding, he added.
The CEO said large-scale illegal encroachment on the periphery of Mansabal lake on Gratibal and Qazibagh sides in the form of hundreds of tress, vegetables gardens, toilets, residential structures, garbage dumping sites had been undertaken by the local inhabitants of the surrounding villages.
''This had adversely affected the ecology and environs of the Manasbal lake, which was shrinking. Almost 80 per cent of the lake was seen under the thick blanket of weed when the development authority was established,'' he added.
To demarcate and save the Manasbal lake from further encroachment by the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, Mr Mir said the Wullar-Manasbal Development Authority decided to construct the pedestrian walkway and the bund around it.
Besides removing the illegal constructions, the area was fenced to avoid any future encroachment, he added.