Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Jammu and Kashmir Government will be taking a tough stand against the encroachers of water bodies in state, assembly was told on Monday.
Intervening during Question Hour in the on-going 2016-17 budget session, Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti acceded that subsequent governments in J&K have made mistakes from time to time.
“We too have made mistakes by filling water bodies,” Ms Mufti told the Lower House of J&K Legislature, “people followed the same policy.”
However, she asserted that her government will be taking tough stand against those who encroaches the water bodies either in Kashmir or Jammu.
Communist lawmaker, M Y Tarigami had raised the question asking government whether lack of Integrated Flood Management and other steps which should have been taken resulted in 2014 floods.
“We have planted thousands of plants at the mouth of Wular Lake which has reduced its water capacity,” she said, “if we start cutting trees, it will take us years.”
She blamed people for encroaching Lakes, Nallahs and tributaries across Kashmir. “How come it is possible that water capacity will increase,” she said.
She said that PDP-BJP government is pursuing Plan of Action viz-a-viz water bodies of Kashmir submitted by Omar led NC-Congress to GoI in 2012. “We are further taking expert view as how to increase the capacity of water bodies.”
She observed that if “state has to be saved”, people need to save Dal Lake, Jhelum, and other water bodies.” We are taking tough stand against encroachments.” “At a time when mainland India is facing water crisis, we are damaging our water resources.”
The problem of encroachment, she said, is pan J&K. “Be it Chenab, Tawi, Jhelum, or Wular, encroachments have been made everywhere.”
However, she added, “it is not a one day affair, it will take years but we will do it.”