Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh today asked officers and executing agencies to ensure timely completion of all ongoing developmental projects, so that the people get benefit of such initiatives undertaken by the government.
The Deputy Chief Minister who is also the Chairman of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) was presiding over the Dal Lake Conservation and Management programme review meeting held here.
Appreciating work done by the department, the Minister said, “Although LAWDA is doing a commendable job, yet our aim should be to complete all projects within the stipulated time,” the Minister said and maintained that the ecological concerns and other related issues should also be taken into consideration.
Stressing on the need for beautification and conservation of lakes, the Minister said that there are many tourists who cherish the beauty of lakes. Therefore, it is imperative to enhance their beauty, keep them clean and also undertake necessary steps to conserve the world famous water bodies, he maintained.
Earlier, Vice-Chairman (VC), LAWDA, Sarmad Hafeez gave a detailed power point presentation highlighting the achievements, issues, and challenges faced by the department.
With regard to the water surface area of Dal Lake, the VC informed that as per the satellite imagery taken by a government agency the lake water surface has gone up by almost two sq km to 20.21 sq km in comparison to 18.95 sq km as recorded by Sir Walter Lawrence in 1895.
The VC said that the department has restored 38 water channels, and 57 springs.
Assuring the Minister that the department has adapted a zero tolerance policy by not allowing any construction in the area, Mr. Hafeez said that out of 3163 illegal structures constructed in the recent past LAWDA has so far removed 900 structures, while the rest 2263 shall also be removed soon.
He further informed that on High Court’s direction tenders have been floated for shifting of houseboats from Dole-Demb in the first phase.
Giving details about the families rehabilitated and resettled in the area, the VC said that out of 6415 families 2162 have been moved to Rakh-i-Arth, and the department is working on moving the rest.
The Enforcement Wing of the department is now registering cases against those who try to disrupt demolition of any illegal construction, the Minister was informed.
The Minister was also apprised with augmentation of navigational fleet and vehicles for the department. Mr. Hafeez requested the Minister to allow LAWDA to for hire consultants to prepare a detailed project for the conservation of Anchar, Khushalsar, and Gilsar lakes.
Director LAWDA, Secretary LAWDA, Scientists, and other concerned officers were present during the meeting.