The High Court Wednesday was informed that a digital map of Dal-Nageen lakes are produced after a team from Survey of India demarcated the boundaries of the lake using Geo-Positioning Stations (GPS).
The court was informed in a report that a team from Survey of India using GPS demarcated the Lake boundary with regular geo-referenced points which coordinates in system WGS-84.
"The boundary marked is as per international standards acceptable globally," states a report submitted by the Nodal Officer, A. R. Malik, who is also Principal District Judge, of trial court Srinagar.
The report says the digital map of the boundary of the Dal-Nageen is now immutable and tamper-proof.
"Since the map is digital, it is impossible for it to get destroyed by fire or for anyone to tamper with the boundary demarcation," Nodal Officer has submitted in the report.
The report has revealed the inability of JK government to provide the reliable certified cadastral map of complete Dal-Nigeen Lake.
"JK government doesn't have the competence or capacity to prepare such a map. With the availability of this map, there is no confusion as to where the boundary of the Dal runs.
Earlier in 1990, the maps of the lakes had got destroyed in a fire incident in village office, the report claims.
A report submitted by the Nodal Officer, has mentioned the work done by CoE for preservation of Dal lake so far.
The report while hailing the efforts of CoE, has laid down 22 points elaborating the work done by CoE for saving the Lake.
As per the report, out of the 360 ground points marked in the Survey General of India Map, in 6 months only 70 boundary pillars have been erected so far.
"The CoE has been expressing its dissatisfaction over the tardy progress to each VC as they come and go," it says
Regarding sewage treatment plants (STP), the report states that three STPs Lamb – 4.5 MLD, Habak - 3.5 MLD, Hazratbal –7.5 MLD are functioning under the control of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA).
"These are heavily over-utilized and under-maintained. Their effluent is far below the required standards as laid down in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) norms," the report maintains.
In this regard, the Committee had suggested for renovation of STP's at the earliest. "The work is to be completed within 6 months starting from January, 2020," it states
It says that none of the STPs were carrying out any tests of the the treated effluent quality before being released.
However, laboratory has been set up and regular tests of incoming sewage and treated effluent is being carried out after the intervention of CoE, says the report.
The Nodal Officer in the report says that 100 bio-digester units are being set up in Telbal area as pilot, an area from where sewage flows directly into the Lake.
A cluster bio-digester is also recommended for Gupt Ganga area but is awaiting Lawda’s approval.
He further says that the tender has been floated by Lawda for an in-land bio-digester at Dol Demb that can treat the sewage from 10 houseboats.
Report says the proposed STP in Brari Numbal contracted to NBCC is under construction for over 7 years now.
On the aspect of pollution from houseboats, the report has said that the tender for 100 bio-digesters as pilot project is expected to be finalized before 31 Jan 2020.
Adding that, setting up of a cluster bio-digester at Gupt Ganga is to be finalized by the VC Lawda expeditiously. The tender for installation of bio-digesters for treating sewage from the Houseboats was also to be finalized by the VC Lawda.
"Even the houseboat operators have realized the adverse impact on the Lake on releasing untreated sewage and are now seeking solution," the report maintains.
It points out the number of houseboats and other carriers on Dal-Nageen had been growing unrestricted.
After court directions, it says, the department of Tourism has now drafted the guidelines for registration of Houseboats and other carriers on the Dal-Nigeen Lake besides it has also completed the geo-tagging of each houseboat on Dal lake. It also states that to prevent water stagnation around the houseboats and in order to provide a green-field tourist site, LAWDA had agreed to develop Dole Demb by taking up the project which was lying dormant for many years.
The work for the project had started four months back but the progress is slow. The report also stresses on the protection of Catchment Areas and Declaration of Dal-Nigeen Lake as Eco sensitive Zone.
On geo-tagging of saffron fields, the report says, geo-tagging of the area took place and the farms are protected after it was found that land use has changed to residential in some parts of the saffron growing areas and in some other parts, the farmers have been forced to give up saffron farming due to adverse impact of excessive mining in the surrounding hills.
Regarding organic farming, it says the flow-in of chemical Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium from the farm-lands in the catchment areas has been a cause of pollution in the Lake.
"The Agriculture department, Agriculture University and others concerned have been engaged to convert all agriculture including horticulture in the catchment into organic within a targeted period. Both golf links around the Lake have been advised to switch to organic fertilizers and
Pesticides and to allow enough leachate area into the draining system so that extent of flow of remnants of NPK and micro-nutrients into the Lake can be minimised. Proposals to extract value-added products from the weeds harvested from the Lake and to use the weed for bio-fuel is also being actively examined by expert agencies," report reads.
Regarding the site for relocation and rehabilitation of Dal dwellers, it says, the government has been considering more than one site and Rakh-e-Arth was one of the identified site.
However, it was found by CoE members that the locality in Rakhi-e Arth is in abominable condition with poor infrastructure, lack of civic services and frequent water-logging.
After directions from CoE, the report says, that VC LAWDA has arranged a local health centre, a primary school and a playground. But a ration shop, a skill centre and regular bus service from Rakhi-e Arth to the Dal area (preferably electric bus) is still awaited.
It says the bathymetric survey carried out by the Indian navy has been prepared which provides the depth of the entire Lake which would be useful while considering dredging activities in future.
Nodal Officer points out in the report that clearing of weeds and lilies from the Lake are a major requirement.
"The rate of growth of weeds is higher than the rate of clearance,"
To deweed the lake, it reads, a prototype prepared by an agency linked to the Cochin Shipping Yard Corporation. is expected to be delivered by April 2020.
"Both the cost and the effectiveness of the prototype is projected to be much superior to the water-masters now being imported by LAWDA: the cost is less than1/3rd and de-weeding capacity twice as much," the report claims.