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Srinagar, Jul 21 (UNI) Expressing grave 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 the 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 Organisations, the civil society, interest groups, students and the general public at large to save it.'' He particularly pinned hope on youngsters and observed that they will come forward in a big way to restore the pristine glory of this water body.

He also emphasised the need for creating general awareness through the voluntary organisations 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 also entail world-acclamation in view of the global concern for ecology and environment.

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

He 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 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 the Dal Lake on a massive scale and urged for immediate steps for increasing the work force to achieve the desired results.

For acquiring lake cleansing machinery at the earliest, a Coordination Committee was suggested by the Governor.

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

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

UNI BAS YSS ARB CS1838

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