Jammu and Kashmir News
SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 6: Stressing the need for conservation and proper management of Wullar Lake, Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology Mr. Bali Bhagat said that Wullar is the largest fresh water lake in Asia and requires added attention for taking effective measures.
The Minister said this today while chairing a Joint meeting of officers of Forests and Wullar Conservation and Management Authority convened to discuss the revised Wullar Conservation and Management Action Plan.
Highlighting the importance of Wullar Lake, the Minister said that the Lake, a wetland of international importance, which provides flood protection to Kashmir Valley, also provides habitat to migratory birds. The water bodies and wetlands of the Valley are also connected with it, he maintained.
The Minister asked for taking long term measures for conservation of this world famous Lake. He said that, with the dredging, the capacity of water storage in the lake would be raised which would go a long way in reducing the future threat of flood.
The meeting was informed that the aim of the project was land and water resources management, bio-diversity conservation, eco-tourism development and livelihood improvement.
The meeting was informed that an amount of Rs. 31 crore has been expended till March 2015 against the released amount of Rs. 60 crore.
It was divulged in the meeting that the work of survey and demarcation has been completed by erecting 1159 pillars on ground delineating the lake boundary from adjoining areas. The geo reference map of the demarcated land has been generated, the low cost sanitation units have been constructed in the area, the meeting was informed.
It was given out in the meeting that as many as 26448 willow trees have been felled and removed from the lake belt and subsequent dredging has been carried out by the Authority and the target has been fixed to remove over 15,000 trees this year. Rakhs and Farms department has also felled 2035 willow trees from the area under its jurisdiction, the meeting was told.
It is worthwhile to mention here that in 1911, the lake had 217.8 sq. kms area including 58 sq kms of associated marshes.
Commissioner Secretary Forests R K Gupta, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Conservator of Forest Kashmir and other officers of the department attended the meeting.