Authorities keep up demolition drive momentum around Dal Lake

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Srinagar (J-K) [India], Sept. 27 (ANI): Local authorities in Srinagar have demolished several illegal constructions around the world famous Dal Lake. The demolition drive was initiated last month by the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to clear all illegal constructions in the restricted area around the lake. Several illegal buildings have mushroomed around Dal Lake over the last three months even as the authorities are busy tackling the law and order situation arising from the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. "A few selfish people are taking advantage of the situation and constructing illegal buildings. Therefore, we have started a demolition drive in which we have even succeeded to some extent. As I have already said, this (Dal Lake) is a part of our civilization and culture and we are dependent on it. So, I would like to request people to support us in saving it and to restrict themselves from indulging in illegal construction of buildings," said Enforcement Officer, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Suhail Ahmad. Police personnel stood guard as bulldozers razed buildings to the ground. "The people take advantage of the ongoing unrest in the state and have started encroaching upon land and constructing buildings illegally, which is wrong. LAWDA has always been at the forefront to remove such encroachments. But at the same time, it is our responsibility, of the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, to conserve the remaining water of the Dal Lake," said a local resident, Sajid. According to the state high court, no construction is allowed within the 200-meter periphery of the lake to ensure its conservation and preservation. The 3.5 kilometer wide and seven kilometer long Dal Lake, the second largest lake in Kashmir, is a major tourist attraction and often referred to as the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir" or "Srinagar's Jewel". Hand-carved houseboats bobbing on a placid lake draw millions of visitors to the stunningly beautiful Himalayan region of Kashmir. The drive is likely to carry on for some time till all the illegal constructions are cleared. (ANI)