Scale up restoration of Wular: Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Regulatory Authority to WUCMA
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Regulatory Authority (JKWRRA) Chairman Ghanshyam Jha Wednesday stressed on the Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) to scale up restoration works and afforestation activities to create maximum storage within the Wular Lake.
JKWRRA also stressed on monitoring the siltation rates, proper management of dykes and integration of lake conservation plan with Jhelum flood mitigation plan.
The suggestions came after Jha inspected the Wular Lake to assess the ongoing restoration works along with a team of officers of the Irrigation and Flood Control department including Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Iftikar Kakroo, Superintending Engineer Srinagar Naseer Kakroo and Superintending Engineer Hydraulic Baramulla Hakeem Firdous.
Giving a brief on the Wular Action Plan, WUCMA Coordinator Irfan Rasool said, “The current plan has a financial outlay of Rs 200 crore and it is to be completed in 2 years. A total of 63.10 lakh cubic meters of silt load are to be removed under the current plan from the Wular Lake’s critically-silted up sections to restore 3.10 sq km area of the lake from which 41.15 lakh cum of silt has been already removed and the progress achieved is 65 percent.”
On the other components of the Wular Action Plan, he said that the works of different nature were going on at full pace.
Rasool said that the afforestation in catchment areas was going on and works under development of ecotourism and conservation of biodiversity were also under progress.
“Over 90,000 willows have been removed so far. This has generated revenue of Rs 20 crore to the government,” he said.
Chairman JKWRRA Jha ventured into the water body on a tugboat to take an assessment of the ongoing restoration works and inspected water depths in restored sections.
He also examined the type of machinery deployed for dredging and inspected peripheral dykes and water channels running across Wular.
Appreciating the initiative of WUCMA, Jha commended it for the completed demarcation of Wular Lake to prevent encroachments.
He stressed on scaling up of restoration works to create a maximum storage within the Wular.
Stressing on monitoring of siltation rates, Jha called for proper management of dykes, integration of lake conservation plan with Jhelum flood mitigation plan and further scaling up of afforestation activities in Wular catchment areas.