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Secy Tourism discusses waste management measures with visiting DRDO team

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Dal, Nageen Lake Conservation

‘Houseboats to get biodigester tank system soon’

SRINAGAR, AUGUST 25: In order to provide the best technology solution for houseboat waste management and to improve the quality of the Dal and Nageen Lake waters, the Department of Tourism is preparing a Detailed Project Report, which envisages providing customized bio-digester tanks to the houseboat owners.

In this regard, Secretary Tourism Rigzian Sampheal Saturday held a meeting here today with a team of scientists from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to discuss waste management proposals with them.

While laying emphasis on the importance keeping the Dal Lake clean and maintaining its hygiene, Secretary Tourism said the Lake is not only important for tourism but is also the state’s identity which needs to be protected.

He said under Swachh Bharat Mission, the Department of Tourism has taken upon itself to tackle the sanitation issues in and around Dal Lake by finding a holistic solution to the issue.

The DRDO team is on a visit to Srinagar to conduct a feasibility study of all aspects of the waste management.  “On the basis of their report, a DPR encompassing solutions to the proper waste management and on installing bio-digester technology will be formulated,” the Secretary said.

Director Tourism Kashmir Tasaduq Jeelani informed the meeting that over 900 houseboats are registered with the Department whose eco-friendly waste management is very necessary.

Deputy Director Registration Waseem Raja, Deputy Director Publicity Riyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director Kashmir Massarat Hashim, Deputy Director Recreation Mohammad Sarfaraz, SP Enforcement Amarjit Singh, Accounts Officer Sajad Ahmad were also present in the meeting.

Pertinently, the former Governor N N Vohra, at a meeting convened recently to discuss Dal conservation measures, had called for adopting a multi-pronged strategy, employing both traditional and modern methods, for time-bound restoration of Dal Lake.

While recognizing that Dal Conservation involves sewage treatment, lily extraction, de-weeding, skimming, water treatment, dredging, prevention of encroachments etc Governor expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of conservation measures and called for immediate strengthening and revamping of the Enforcement Wing to ensure against any encroachments in or around the Lake.

He had also called for setting timelines, monitoring the progress of cleaning of the lake and removal of encroachments on day-to-day basis. He had also called for taking measures to plug sewage disposal into the lake from the entire catchment area and directed Vice-Chairman LAWDA to submit daily reports on the extent of surface area of the lake cleaned and how many encroachments have been removed.

Governor had also directed Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Department, to urgently (i) formulate the separate sanitation proposals for the House Boats anchored to the shoreline and those moored in the open water expanse; (ii) double the number of labourers presently engaged in the operation of Lily extraction and de-weeding/skimming activities to at least improve the visual aspect of the Lake; (iii) to deploy all available machines in double shifts for speeding up work by ensuring adequate incentivizing of the machine operators; (iv) the tenders for hiring of Lake cleaning machines should be finalized within 7 days so that the hired machines are pressed into service immediately for speeding up the progress of de-weeding/Lily extraction; (v) enforcing strict anti-encroachment measures to ensure that no illegal structures are raised around the Lake; (vi) Divisional Commissioner Kashmir shall oversee the rehabilitation of Dal dwellers.

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