Govt major polluter of Dal, Nageen lakes: Report

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Oct 23: Government is one of the major polluters of Dal and Nageen lakes in Srinagar as city drainage either directly finds its way into the lakes untreated as the treatment plants are either incomplete or not properly functional.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court formed “Court Committee” headed by Justice (retired) Mohammad Shafi Khan in its report has said that sewerage finds its way directly into the lake. “…irony is that drains have been laid and the treatment plants are either incomplete or not properly functional. The direct result of this is that the people who earlier used to drain the sewerage and other house hold discharges into within the compounds deep pits or trenches have promptly channelized the same into this network of drains that finally ends up untreated into the lake water, aggravating the problem to a new height and defacing the banks to a new low”, the report reads.
The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has constructed a drain on the western shore of Nageen lake and all sewerage of that part of Srinagar city for last two years directly finds its way into the lake making it a cesspool. The water of Nageen was crystal clear till a year ago but today the lake has become a major cesspool.
The committee in its report has said that Directorate of Indian System of Medicine has constructed a hospital in the prohibited area near the lake illegally without seeking permission from LAWDA.
“That on the inspection in the area of Harwan/Barji a structure was found to have been raised by the Directorate of Indian System of Medicine (AYUSH), a unani hospital, in the shape of double storied structure measuring approx 250’X100′ on the banks of Dachigam Water channel/nallah, a prohibited area for construction. The authorities concerned have not sought any permission from LAWDA and all the material for this illegal construction has been unauthorizedly transported to the site”, the report said.
The report says that there are large number of illegal structures on the main road on the banks of the lake from Saida Kadal to Ashai Bagh but the LAWDA has failed to demolish them.
“…Number of illegal structures have surfaced visibly on the main road from Saida Kadal and Ashai Bagh bridge and the demolition squad has number of times decided and made preparations to demolish the same which, however, due to administrative reasons and VIP movement on the said road could not be executed. As such the demolition has been delayed”, the report says.
The report has listed several illegal constructions in the prohibited areas around the lake. There is a mention of a huge building with 37 rooms built on 7000 square feet area illegally when the permission was for a double story residential house.
“…It has been found that a huge construction, commercial in nature has been raised upon a land under the garb of said permission that includes and covers a plinth area of more than 7000 square feet instead of permitted 1425 sq ft. It was also found that commercial structure has also exceeded the height of the building that has been raised double the permitted height. The building comprises 37 rooms and a big lobby on the ground floor. This case also needs to be looked into as the building apparently seems have to been constructed on two kinds of land, one among them seems to be some kind of wetland”, the report reads.

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