After HC Rap, Govt Forms Panels On Dal Buffer Zones

SRINAGAR: Days after the J&K and Ladakh High Court expressed its displeasure over government’s “casual and informal” approach, the administration on Friday constituted Technical Committee of Experts to determine buffers around Dal Lake and allied water bodies falling in the “Srinagar Metropolitan Region.”

The committee comprises government members as well as experts, news agency GNS quoted the government order as having said.

The J&K Government members include Vice Chairman, Lake Conservation & Management Authority (Member-Convener), Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority, Representative of Department of Forest, Ecology & Environment (not below the rank of Conservator of Forests), Chief Town Planner, Town Planning Organization, Kashmir  and Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Kashmir or his representative having “sound knowledge and understanding of lakes and wetlands”.

The experts include Dr. A. B. Akolkar, Former Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India, Prof. A. A.Qazmi, IIT Roorkee Prof. Meenakhshi Dhote, Environment Planning Department, SPA, New Delhi, Prof. Ariti Grover, Landscape Architecture Department, SPA, New Delhi , Prof. K. K. Pandey, Prof. of Urban Management, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, Prof. Zahoor Ahmad Rather, SKUAST, Kashmir (Floriculture & Landscape Department), Dr. Pratab Singh, Expert in Hydrology, RMSI  and Dr Himayun Rahid, Scientist, Department of Environment and Remote Sensing, J&K.

The committee has been asked to “comprehensively” examine, after due consultations with the stakeholders, the question of buffers of the Dal Lake and allied water bodies covered by the Srinagar Master Plan 2035, from an environmental/lake ecosystem and urban planning/design point of view for the sustainability and conservation of these water bodies also ensuring that the gains from the efforts over the last two decades are taken to their logical conclusion,

Based on the above, the committee has been asked to submit a comprehensive report with clear and unambiguous recommendations on the extant of the buffes around these water bodies and the permissible activities that could be allowed in the buffer zones or in such areas beyond the buffers as would be necessary in the interest of the conservation of these water bodies. “The Committee shall be serviced by the J&K Lake Conservation and Management Authority and shall complete its task within two (02) months,” the order added. Last week, the High Court chided the government over the issue.

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