The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has initiated a massive mission to clean the Dal Lake ahead of the onset of peak winter in Jammu and Kashmir.
Unbridled growth of weeds, particularly in the Hazratbal Basin of the lake, is taking a heavy toll on the fragile ecosystem of the water body. The thick growth of lily weeds also hampers the movement of shikaras, which are light, flat-bottomed boats, and affects the overall aesthetic beauty of the lake.
The mission, therefore, aims to clear weeds like lily pads, creepers, algae, water plants and other waste material present in the water body.
Being one of the most noteworthy tourist destinations, Dal Lake attracts a large number of tourists from across the world every year.
After multiple drives by using machines in cleaning Dal Lake, LAWDA has now started relying on human power to clear the lily pads within the lake.
LAWDA has deployed 1500 skilled labourers for the task, although the authority has acquired weed harvesters and water masters for de-weeding. 1500 labourers are working in 42 sections of the infested area and are extracting it by traditional methods.
“Our main aim is to remove lily pads for which we have deployed more than 1000 labourers. More than 50 per cent of the area has been cleared. This process will continue till the winter sets in. We will stop it in December. This needs to be done to save Dal,” said Raman Opel, Executive Engineer- LAWDA.
Being one of the most noteworthy tourist destinations, Dal Lake attracts a large number of tourists from across the world every year and contributes majorly to the economy of the area.