Acting tough against the encroachers, the divisional administration has set a deadline for removal of encroachments from all water bodies in the Kashmir division by November 30.
The concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and the government agencies under whose jurisdiction various wetlands and water bodies in Kashmir fall have been asked to gear up and remove encroachment at the earliest.
As per the minutes of the meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole, the Wular Management and Conservation Authority (WUCMA) and DC Baramulla have been directed to remove encroachment on Wular Lake by or before 30 November 2021.
The directions have been passed to remove encroachment on 380 kanalland of the Wular Lake.
“It was informed that the encroachment at 380 kanal and 11 marlas of land in respect of the Wular Lake needs to be removed. It was directed that encroachment should be removed by or before November 30. Besides, WUCMA should prepare a comprehensive action plan about the Wular Lake and submit it before the committee constituted by the government for the purpose so that it can be incorporated for submission before the NGT,” reads the minutes of the meeting.
Regarding the encroachment of Haigam water body, “it was apprised that demarcation of the body has been done. The chair directed that encroachment on the water body should be removed by or before November 30 except 56 residential houses and structures”.
DCs of Srinagar and Ganderbal were asked to remove encroachment at Shalabugh. DC Srinagar was directed to remove encroachment on 160 kanalland of the water body.
“It was informed by DC Ganderbal that final demarcation of the water body has not been completed yet, however, there is no encroachment at 90 percent of the wetland as the extent of encroachment on 10 percent is plantation and vegetables. The chair directed that the demarcation should be completed within two weeks and encroachment on 160 kanal should be removed by DC Srinagar,” the minutes of the meeting read.
It read that the divisional administration also directed the authorities of Pulwama district to retrieve 79 kanal of land of Chatlam Wetland within two weeks.
The National Green Tribunal has passed directions from time to time for restoration of water bodies.
Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir government had come up with an Integrated Management Action Plan for conservation of wetlands in Kashmir with a proposed budgetary outlay of Rs 46.70 crore.
“An overall budget of Rs 46.70 crore is proposed for implementation of the Integrated Management Action Plan for all the Wetland Conservation Reserves of Kashmir region over a period of 5 years (2022-27),” a copy of the Action Plan reads.