Conservation of Wular Lake will boost eco-tourism: Lal Singh

SRINAGAR, May 29: Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Ch. Lal Singh today said that conservation and preservation of Asia’s largest fresh water Wular Lake to its pristine glory would give boost to the State’s ecotourism. Chairing a meeting convened here today to review the functioning of Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA), Ch. Lal Singh said that Government would work tirelessly for the conservation of the world famous lake. He said that bringing back the pristine glory of the lake is the highest priority of the Government, saying said the Forest Department would be revitalized with the revival such places. A detailed power point presentation was made on the various activities carried out by the Authority during last 5- years for the long-term conservation, eco-restoration and preservation of the Wular Lake and its associated ecosystems and the achievements and milestones achieved by the Authority during last five years (2011-2016). The meeting was informed that dredging operations carried out within the critically silted areas of Wular lake and vital feeder channel (Naaz Nallah) to the extent of approximately ten lakh cubic meters has successfully been accomplished so far which has resulted in enhancement of the water holding capacity of the water body significantly over an area of more than one square kilometre. Demarcation of the lake too has been carried out using latest GPS/Remote Sensing technology and accordingly the total area of the lake has been determined which is 130 square kms at present as per revenue records, of which 27- square kms of lake area is critically silted and an area of more than one square km has been fully restored back to its original position. The meeting was also apprised about various steps initiated by the WUCMA to control diffused pollution to the Wular Lake by means of direct flow of the harmful wastes and human excreta into the lake. In this regard, the Authority has, so far, provided over 45-low cost sanitation units (toilets) to the population belonging to the BPL to maintain the sanitation of the lake. Many such units are proposed to be added during the coming years. Assuring the authority for taking up the matter with the Chief Minister for releasing the first installment of funds during 2016-17 so that conservation efforts initiated by the WUCMA are carried out without any interruption, the Minister directed the officials of the authority to re-double their efforts and utilize their expertise for the speedy ecorestoration and conservation of the World famous Wular Lake. Among others, the meeting was attended by Chief Executive Director, WUCMA, Mian Javed Hussein, Project Coordinator Catchment Conservation Ali Mohammad Dar, Coordinator Lake Water Management, Rashid Naqash, among other Engineers and Project Officers of the Authority.