Srinagar, July 22 (ANI): The magnificent Dal Lake is all set be cleared of weeds, muck and pollutants with the held of special Swiss made Truxor machines here.
Procured at a cost of rupees 32.5 million, three Truxors were assembled and operated by a team of experts from Switzerland-based Aquarius Company that has manufactured the machines.
The state's Lake and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) deployed the machines to clear the muck layers that have blocked the flow of waters since years.
The tough-looking Truxors wade through the waters easily due to the innovative 'amphibian' technology incorporated in them, which in turn enable these to tread through water and land with equal ease.
However, certain experts are of the view that the limited number of Truxors could hamper the massive restoration project of the Dal Lake.
"We have equipped these machines with a lot of different accessories, and these accessories help in many ways to solve certain problems. But they are too few machines to solve all the problems here," said Andre Lorang, Director of Aquarius.
Raw sewerage, land encroachment and years of neglect have been threatening the survival of the lake.
However, loaded with sophisticated technology and multiple features, these machines can smoothly undertake cutting and dredging of weeds in swamps and narrow channels to restore the lake's lost charm.
The Truxors are designed to work continuously in tough conditions, which is critical for restoration of the interior canals of the Dal Lake.
"Earlier, the Dal Lake was in a bad state, but now it is improving. The machines that have been deployed here are operating well and are of a great help. They pick up material and provide the depth that is required," said Shahnawaz, a local resident in Srinagar.
Severe degradation of the lake's catchments had led to excessive growth of weeds and drastic reduction of its depths, particularly in the interiors.
Concerned at the extensive deterioration of the water channels, LAWDA had been struggling to undertake its restoration manually since the last few years.
"The backwater channels of the Dal Lake, which are located in the inhabited areas nearby would be cleared by the machines. The main problem of the Dal Lake is that its waters are stagnant, which promote the growth of vegetation, especially during the summer season," said Mushtaaq Jaan, Executive Engineer of the LAWDA.
The lake's size has halved in the last few decades to some 13 square kilometers following land encroachment.
A study in 2007 by the state's Comptroller and Auditor General reported that the lake has excessively high levels of toxic metals due to sewerage. Pollutants were accumulating in the fish and water, which was consumed by humans.
Tests of water samples showed arsenic levels were almost 1,000 times above permissible levels.
Environmentalists say thousands of tonnes of sewerage spew into the lake, feeding weeds and choking the lake and its aquatic life, of oxygen. by Parvez Butt(ANI)