Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development, Asiea Naqash on Friday launched Lakes and Waterways Development Authority’s (LAWDA) special drive for deweeding of macrophyte weeds and solid waste collection from Dal and Nigeen lakes as part of the Pan-India Abhiyan‘Swachhata hi Sewa’.
The theme of the campaign is to reinforce the concept of “sanitation as everybody’s concern” and intensify the collective social actions for Swachhata.
Chief Secretary BB Vyas, Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Hirdesh Kumar, Vice Chairman LAWDA Dr Hafeez Masoodi, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed Abid Shah and other concerned officers were present on the occasion.
Being organised in convergence with LAWDA’s ongoing drive for removal of invasive water lily patches launched earlier this year, the Swachhata hi Sewa campaign will include large scale cleanliness operations on multiple fronts including deweeding along shore line and open waters, solid waste removal and awareness programmes to educate people residing in these lakes about waste management, sanitation besides ways for conservation and preservation of the water bodies.
LAWDA is working with an operational target of 10 running kms for deweeding operations and 2 square kms for invasive water lily patches removal as part of the Swachhata hi Sewa campaign being held between September 15 and October 2.
The Minister stressing on the urgent need to preserve and protect our water bodies, said that these water bodies are integral to the identity of Kashmir and Government is committed to conserve these natural resources. She said that water bodies in the valley are shrinking at an alarming rate for which urgent action needs to undertaken at all levels. She asked people to be conscious of their footprint on the ecosystem and work in tandem with Government so that there can leave a healthy legacy for future generations.
The Minister appreciated the efforts taken by LAWDA for cleaning and maintenance of the water bodies, especially Dal and Nigeen lakes. She urged the department to also focus on the interiors of these lakes as those patches are often neglected.
While interacting with the labourers, the Chief Secretary assured to look into the demands which include enhancement of daily wages, transfer of the wages through DBT mode and a decision on defining of working hours. He asked the them to nominate five representatives for holding consultation with VC, LDA, so that appropriate decisions are taken in the matter.