Srinagar, Feb 17: The Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) on Friday said that the area of the world famous Dal Lake has never changed, claiming that the lake covers an open space area of 20.3 square kilometres.
Vice Chairman, LCMA, Bashir Ahmad Bhat while talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) exclusively, said that the area on which the lake is spread has never changed as it always remained constant at 25 square kilometres.
“Three years ago, the open space at lake was just 13 kilometres as nearly seven square kilometres of the lake was infested with Lilly and other things,” he said, adding that the open space of the lake was increased as all Lilly was removed from the lake, taking the open space of the water body to 20.3 square kilometres.
He further said that space would be increased further as many patches of land have been identified, where dredging has been started.
The Vice Chairman also said that navigation channels have also been restored previously, which were closed earlier, it helped to increase the circulation of water, adding that the main aim is to expand Dal Lake as much as possible without infringing any other thing.
“It is a live lake; almost all of the areas have vegetation. Infestation of the vegetation had increased till two years ago, a substantial portion was occupied by Lilly, it would have turned into land mass, but all such infestations have been removed and currently, the open space has been increased to 20.3 square kilometres,” he added.
Asked about the reports showing the lake squeezing from 21 square kilometres to 12.5 square kilometres from 1950 to 1998, he said that these reports are not based on facts. “The fact is since the survey conducted by Sir Walter Lawrence, nothing has changed. It was in fact 18.3 sq kilometres then, but now the open space has increased further. There were some hamlets, they were dredged out and helped to expand the lake surface further,” he said—(KNO)