The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to remain alert about the re-emergence of lily pads in the Dal Lake and take immediate steps in February and March to curtail their reappearance.
Earlier in December 27, while expressing its satisfaction with the removal of lily pads from the Dal Lake, the court had asked LAWDA to continue the process, so as to not allow any re-growth in the next season.
As the matter came up for hearing before a division bench headed by the Chief Justice on Tuesday, LAWDA informed the bench that the tender for two high-powered aerators had already been floated. It further added that the tenders had been received and would be opened on February 1.
However, the bench, in its fresh orders, said LAWDA should be “vigilant” about the re-emergence of lily pads and should take immediate steps in February and March to curtail their re-appearance.
Not satisfied as far as the shifting of the houseboats in the Dal Lake from their current location to the Dole Demb area of the lake was concerned, the High Court warned LAWDA that if “appropriate action is not taken, it (High Court) may be constrained to issue directions of the coercive nature”.
“The shifting of houseboats to the Dole Demb area has not made any progress at all. The direction was given in 2015. The entire plan was approved by the Cabinet, yet no action has been taken,” the High Court observed in its orders, maintaining it was already indicated in orders dated October 14, 2015, that the process of shifting of the houseboats would be carried out in a phased manner.
“The first phase required shifting of 76 houseboats and even that has not been done. We, therefore, direct all authorities concerned to take up the issue expeditiously and seriously and provide us with the status report in the matter. If appropriate action is not taken, we may be constrained to issue directions of coercive nature,” it warned.
- WaterLily or Nymphaea is a popular aquatic pond plant and a common sight in the Dal Lake, particularly in its Dole Demb area
- As water lilies have spread to a considerable area in the lake and are blocking sunlight on the water surface, the Scientific Advisory Committee has suggested their removal both manually and mechanically