Demolition drive against illegal constructions in Dal Lake continues

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Srinagar, Dec 30 (UNI) To restore the world famous Dal Lake to its pristine glory, the authorities resumed a fresh drive against the illegal constructions in and around the water body, a major attraction for tourists in the summer capital.

Assisted by police, the officials of different department razed to ground more than hundred structures, constructed illegally at Chuntkul, an outflow channel of the Lake despite some resistance.

More than three lakh trees were axed and hundred of illegal houses and other structures demolished in the Lake during the past one year on the orders of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The petition alleged that despite spending crores of rupees during the past 15 years, the condition of the Lake has deteriorated.

Despite court orders, illegal construction in and around the lake, including green belt, was going on. Half a dozen officials of the Lakes And Waterway Development Authority (LAWDA) were suspended for allowing illegal construction in the lake after court orders.

To curb the fresh illegal construction, the authorities have decided to disconnect electricity and water supply to all houses and other structures constructed illegally in the Lake, official sources said.

This was necessary to discourage all illegal constructions and remove encroachments to restore the Lake to its pristine glory to some extent, they added.

The officials said the prestigious and world famous fresh water Dal Lake, in the heart of Srinagar, demands attention from one and all for protection and conservation.

They said all concerned departments have been directed that all encroachments and illegal constructions be removed immediately.

They said the court has issued contempt notices to various department after a committee headed by registrar judicial Abdul Wahid in his report said these department had implemented the court orders.

It has expressed its displeasure over slow conservation measures for restoration of Dal and directed LAWDA to speed-up its work.

It also directed the vice-chairperson of LAWDA to expand its activities and maintain a daily diary of the details of the works of whatever nature performed for restoration of the Dal.

The court directed that diary shall be submitted to the Chief Secretary for production with his observations to the court.

The court empowered the Chief Secretary to issue orders that may be necessary for conservation and restoration of Dal during the vacations in the High Court.

UNI

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