The Administrative Council (AC) which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu approved policy guidelines for registration/renewal/operation of houseboats in Dal and Nigeen Lake.
The Administrative Council decided that the guidelines should conform to the overall framework of Dal conservation framed by the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) besides, an appropriate legal framework would be also instituted for enforcing the policy.
The decision will help to regulate the functioning and operation of houseboats in both the water bodies and to preserve the lake for future generations by adopting sustainable tourism, preventing pollution of the lake besides, providing a conducive and pleasant atmosphere for tourists, on one hand, sustainable source of living for the houseboat owners/shikara wallas and other stakeholders on the other hand.
Complying with the directions of the High Court and suggestions made by the Committee of Experts (CoE) on Dal/Nigeen Lake, the Government has taken this step for conservation of the two lakes. This move will also address the environmental concerns and give a further push to the ongoing activities relating to the preservation and conservation of the lakes.
Under the guidelines, the houseboats owners will be able to register/renew their houseboats after fulfilling certain general conditions. The guidelines also provides constitution of Advisory Committee to be headed by Director Tourism, Kashmir to identify areas of concern for securing use of houseboats for enhancing tourist influx and Regulatory Committee to look after registration/renewal process and overall regulation of functioning of the houseboats.
As per the policy guidelines, no new houseboat shall be allowed to be constructed in Dal/Nigeen Lake. The provision of categorization of houseboats based on the facilities has also been made in the guidelines.