Dal Lake in Kashmir to get eco-sensitive zone tag

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The Dal Lake and its surrounding areas in Srinagar will soon be declared an eco-sensitive zone, officials said on Friday.

The famous lake has shrunk to less than half its original size with its capacity down to 40 per cent due to pollution and encroachment, they said.

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“The Committee of Experts (CoE) on Dal and Nageen lakes shall submit the final proposal to the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) by 20th of February,” a senior official said.

He said the recommendations of the committee will be sent to the Centre by February 29.

It is expected that the Dal Lake and its surrounding areas will be declared as eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) by the first week of March, the official said.

In November, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had set up a 10-member committee to declare the Dal Lake and its surrounding areas an eco-sensitive zone, following concerns over its shrinking size.

The Committee of Experts (CoE) on Wednesday reviewed and discussed the draft notification for declaring the lake and its surroundings as ESZ, the officials said.

The CoE comprises former additional chief secretary, government of Kerala, Dr Nivedita P Haran; MD Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, Dr Mangu Singh; advocate M C Mehta; environmentalist, consultant, and former MD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Dr E Sreedharan besides top officials from the J and K administration.