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Srinagar, Jul 21 (UNI) Expressing concern over the shrinking of the world-famous Dal Lake, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra stressed the need for launching a mass movement to preserve and conserve this major tourist attraction in the summer capital.

Describing the Lake as the soul of Kashmir, Mr Vohra said, ''We should effectively involve the non-Governmental Organizations, the civil society, interest groups, students and the general public at large to save it.'' He particularly pinned hope in youngsters and observed that they will come forward in a big way to restore the pristine glory of this water body.

Mr Vohra also emphasized the need for creating general awareness through the voluntary organizations and the mass media.

Taking a review of the Dal-Nageen Lake Conservation and Management Plan here today the Governor felt that conservation of the Lake will not only be a big boon for the tourist industry but will also entail world- acclamation in view of global concern for ecology and environment.

He expressed his anguish over the inflow of toxic effluents into the Lake, besides floating polythene and plastic materials and called for evolving a scientific mechanism to ensure their proper garbage disposal.

He also advised urgent enactment of a legal framework for checking civic violations and suggested that the people should be made aware of their duties through a sustained campaign.

While rewards or incentives for maintenance of civic norms should be introduced, punitive action also needs to be taken against violators once the Municipal Rules are formulated and made applicable, he added.

Mr Vohra stressed the urgent need for deweeding in the Dal Lake on a massive scale and urged for an immediate increase in the work force to achieve visible results. He also suggested involvement of students and voluntary organizations in supplementing this effort.

For acquiring lake cleansing machinery in a time bound basis, a Coordination Committee was suggested by the Governor.

The Governor also called for satellite imaging of the Lake to ascertain its latest status.

Besides Conservation and Management Plan drawn up for the Lake, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Plan was also discussed in the meeting. The meeting was informed that out of Rs 298.79 crores earmarked under the Conservation and Management Plan, about Rs 150 crores had been spent till June this year.

UNI BAS YSS AKJ HS1830

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