Parliamentary panel for urgent step to arrest slow death of Dal la

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) Expressing concern over the ''slow death'' of the Dal Lake in the Kashmir valley, a Parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to ensure that an effective method for disposal of wastes from households in the lake is put in place within a fixed time schedule.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forests in its 184th Report tabled in Parliament in the current budget session said it had recommended the 'Rota Loo' toilets because aerobic breakdown of human waste was the most advisable technique for preventing inflow of human wastes in the lake eco-system.

'Rota Loo' are lightweight portable toilets aided by 100 per cent biodegradable toilet bag which is compostable and is user friendly.

However, the Ministry said the Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Waterways Development Authority considered the proposal of using Rota Loo as well as other alternatives like 'Envirolet' biolet units and found that the options were not feasible due to certain reasons.

First, both these units are more specifically designed for situations where water was scarce but power abundant, and the conditions in the case of the Dal lake were found to be opposite.

Secondly waste in such units was compost in pits, which is neither possible nor desirable in the lake. Moreover, costs were prohibitive.

Instead, the authority was in favour of adopting the floating septic tanks with Vacuum sewer system for discharging the liquid waste of households into the terminal shore sump-cum-pump station for ultimate treatment in the existing/proposed sewage Treatment Plants.

But after the Parliamentary panel recommendations, the authority was re-examining the matter.

The panel in its report has said most of the pollutants in the lake were above permissible limit as prescribed by the Water Act and by the Central Board for Control of Pollution(CPCB). Factors like human settlements, hotels, floating gardens and even dhobi ghats washing unit on its peripheri were causing the slow death of the lake.

Sewage discharge from surrounding communities around the lake and its tributaries was also a major reason for pollution in Dal Lake, the panel said.


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