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Restoration

Earlier Projects: We have tried to summarize various problems and recommendations made from time to time by various agencies starting with the ENEX report (1978) prepared by ENEX consortium of New Zealand. Although some reports regarding the conservation of the lake were made before 1978, but given the detailed description of the problems and remedial measures enlisted in the ENEX report, it would be better to restrict our baseline with this report. Moreover, it appears to be fact that the reports prepared thereafter were one way or the other acknowledging the problems and recommendations made in ENEX report. Nevertheless, as these reports were framed at various time gaps, and by that period some other problems may have arisen, and off course advancement in science and technology have made other reports of more applicable one’s. But, by and large, basic problems and remedial / intervention measures remain the same in all the reports.

ENEX Report (1978) control of nutrients from the catchment and allied interventions

The following measures have been suggested to reduce the nutrient inflow to the lake:

1. Minimize as far as practical the quantities of nutrients and sediment entering the lake by control of catchment areas. The following measures have been suggested to achieve the same:

a) Reforestation, particularly of the steeper denuded slopes and control of grazing to confine this to the lower slopes and prevent overgrazing

b) Reducing the sediment entering the lake viz., Telbal-Nallah by constructing a settling basin at the mouth of the Nallah

c) Diversion of sewage from the existing development and prevention of uncontrolled urban development to limit the population in the catchment

d) Sealing of some nutrient rich catchment areas from the main open water areas.

2. Remove nutrient from the lake by removing or destroying the weeds

3. Control of water flow and water level fluctuations of the lake, such measures being directed to utilize the flushing effects of flood flow and normal flow to:

a) Wash soluble nutrients out of the lake

b) Improve water circulation and replacement in parts of the lake which are presently stagnant or very nearly so

c) Improve water circulation conditions near the house boats d) Maintain satisfactory water depths during all seasons of the year.

 

Nutrient balance in 1978 (+ = input, - = outflow)

Catchment P N
Dachigam & Teilbal Nallah +9.0 +261
Hillside +2.4 +58.5
Srinagar North 0 0
Srinagar City 0 0
Dal Lake +5.1 .45
Out Flows -1.7 -42.4
Balance +14.8 +322.1

 

Detailed description of each activity

1. a) Reforestation: It has been recommended that massive reforestation needs to be done below the vegetation line. Since it is not practical to carry out reformation above the vegetation line, as such control of soil erosion is not practical. Accordingly, it has been recommended that a settling basin needs to be constructed at the mouth of the main tributary i.e. Telbal- Nallah. The report further recommends that excellent reforestation programme commenced on Shankaracharaya Hill be accelerated, and in the meantime stricter controls be exercised on grazing on the steep slopes of the catchment. The report does not mention the benefits of these improvements on the then nutrient balance as they are a long term in nature.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Only reforestation of Zeethyar watershed was completed in an effective manner, which by now has developed a lush green forest cover, however, in major catchments i.e. Telbal- Dachigham and Hillside, no substantial recommendation as mentioned herein above were implemented, resulting in the ingress of silt and nutrients to the lake.

 b) Construction of settling basin at the inlet of Telbal Nallah: Porposed settling basin of the area 150000 m2 and a base level of 1582.0m will achieve a 75% reduction in the silt and nutrient load. This basin will provide a detention of 20 minutes under average lake water level of 1583.3 m with a stream flow of 60m3 / sec. It has been recommended that the basin needs to be de-silted after every two years, and the excavated silt needs to be spread on the adjacent paddy fields, where the nutrient value will be of agricultural benefit. The de-silting operation would generate a volume of 75000 m3 of silt @ 700 kg /m3. It has been further recommended that the paddy fields are a source of soluble phosphorus and at present enters the northern end of the lake via a number of small drainage channels. Reduction in the entry of phosphorus from this source be achieved by diverting these channels into the settling basin, where it would combine with calcium compounds and precipitate as insoluble phosphorus. For diverting these drainage channels into the settling basin, it has been recommended to augment the fore shore road around the southern and eastern sides of the lake. The road will have the following benefits:

i. It will enclose the settling basin at the outlet of the Telbal Nallah

ii. It will define the shore line, and will prevent natural and manmade encroachments to the lake

iii. This will greatly improve the foreshore aspects

iv. It will provide a good access road from the eastern side of the lake across to Hazratbal road on the western side serve as a cutoff to runoff from the paddy fields and enable this flow to be run via an open drain into the settling pond.

v. It has been recommended that shore line be dredged using cutter suction dredgers

vi. Ideally the maximum bed should be 1582 m which would give a water depth of 1.3 m with normal lake water level of   1583.3 m. It is estimated that a volume of 1 x 106 m3 will be excavated. The excavated material can be used to form land suitable for paddy fields and for resettlement.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Settling Basin and Northern Fore Shore (NFR) road were constructed. Although there has been retention of silt in the basin, however, as far as phosphorus is concerned, no such complexing with calcium appears to be place, resulting in flow of phosphorus into the lake. Diversions of small channels draining the paddy fields was not made a part of the system and as such continue to flow directly into the lake without any treatment. The de-silting of the basin has been carried out under the realms of J&KLWDA.

c) Major sewage sources to the lake were identified as 1. Hotel Oberio place, 2. Convention centre and 3. Srinagar city and villages and rural communities.

Regarding Hotel Oberio Palace and Convention centre, it has been proposed to construct oxidation ponds. In respect of the sewage from the Srinagar city, as it is discharged into the lake outlet channels as such will not effect the open water areas. Pit latrines were recommended to be constructed in villages and rural areas above the water table to prevent leaching of nutrients.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Off late both the Hotel Oberio Palce (Now Hotel Grand Palace) and Convention Centre (Now SKICC and additional 5 star hotel i.e. Centaur Lake View Hotel) have their own sewage treatment plants. Although a STP was constructed to treat sewages of some parts of Srinagar city, however many a drains continued to flow into the outer backwaters of the lake, which as a mater of fact used to flow out of the lake via tow outlets i.e. Dal gate exit and Nallah Amir Khan. No pit latrines have been provided to the villagers and rural population.

d) Prevention of nutrients in the floating gardens from entering the open water areas: Considering the costs in compensation, dredging and excavation, would be tremendous without the cost of resettlement of the lake’ s population, therefore, complete removal of floating gardens have been termed unrealistic in the report. Alternatively, the report recommends, that a earthen bund seal be provided created from Dal gate to Kabootar Kahan-Nishat Pipe Line Bund and via engineering college to Nigeen lake. This will prevent the influx of nutrients and encroachments into the open water areas of the lake.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Considering the alarming encroachments in the form of constriction of houses and conversion of floating gardens into permanent land masses by way of filling with lake sediments, the proposal probably could not take off.

2. Removal of nutrients from the lake by removing or destroying the weeds:

Chemical and biological controls have been rejected in the report. Only mechanical harvesting has been recommended: The following benefits of mechanical harvesting has been highlighted

a) The weed material (both submerged and floating is harvested and removed from the lake

b) Nutrients and organic matter are removed from the lake basin in the form of the weed

c) The weed material can be used as a form of a compost

d) The weed can be removed at a controlled rate, and in case of the submerged plants only 75% of the plants wil be removed,

e) Weed harvesting can export 13tons of P and 91.5 tons of N from the lake every year.

f) For two cuts per year and 5 months per cut (two weed cutting machines would be required)

 MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Two “Rolba” harvesters had been purchased, which continued to harvest weeds from the various lake areas, and as such served as a nutrient export mechanism. However, the non-implementation of catchment reforestation and unabated urbanization, which otherwise were recommended, as such resulted in further nutrient enrichment.  This resulted in luxuriant weed growth and increase in coverage, which thereby outpaced the harvesting activity, and the nutrient export mechanism.

3. Control of water flow and water level fluctuations of the lake. The following water levels in the lake has been recommended:

 

  RL m(G.T.S datum) Dalgate gauge (ft.)
Normal Water Level 1583.3 9.5
Minimum Water Level 1582.8 8.0
Maximum Water Level 1583.8 11.5

 

 Improvements have been suggested in terms of

a) Provide means of control on the Amir Khan Nallah So that at the time of low inflow, it will discharge a minimum amount of water and at the times of floods, it will discharge a maximum amount.

b) Provide an improved means of control at Dal gate so that a closer degree of control can be exercised at times of low inflow and an increased amount can be discharged during floods

c) In place of wooden beam needles, an improved weir with a mechanical gate (radial arm type) be constructed above the weir

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED : Improved mechanical gates and weirs had been installed both at Nallah Amir Khan and Dal gate Outlets. Carrying capacity of Nallah Amir Khan channel has been increased to act as a flood routing channel.

4. To improve water circulation and hence the water quality in the south-east corner of Bod-Dal, and eastern sides of Gagribal basin:

 It was proposed to excavate a 6 m wide channel through the eastern end of the Maharaj’s bund. This channel to be bridged to permit access along the bund. In addition to promote a flow through the channel it was proposed to extend the bund a further 30m and construct a bund from the summer Palace so that the channel so formed is ~ 35m wide.

 MEASURES IMPLEMENTED : Not done, instead the Maharaja’s bund has been removed.

 5. Proposal for improvement of Houseboat area:

The objective was to improve the aesthetics and sanitary conditions of the houseboat area of the Dal lake. The water quality which has been impaired can be improved by following measure;

i. Reticulating the sewage from the houseboats

ii. Relocating the houseboats that can not be reticulated

iii. improve the water supply to the houseboats

iv. Increase the water circulation around houseboats For controlling luxuriant weed growth in the area, mechanical deweeding has been proposed on the pattern mentioned for other lake areas

For houseboat realignment it was proposed that general local inhabitants of the lake need be separated so that only those families employed in services of the houseboats live in the area and relocate those engaged in agriculture and fishing or in other employments.

  For improving the water quality in the area:

a. Promote circulation of flow to avoid backwaters

b. Facilitating the ease of operation of the weed cutting and harvesting equipment

c. Enable a sewage reticulation system to be constructed that will allow ease of operation and maintenance

d. Enabling the orderly extension and maintenance of other services such as water supply, electricity and telephone and solid waste disposal.

e. Relocating the house boats – only those houseboats meeting criteria (Deluxe A, B, and c) will be permitted in the area zoned for tourist accommodations.

 

Allow planning for future expansion

Some more points raised in the report regarding the area are;

 i. The present arrangements in the houseboat area unsatisfactory from tourist point of view

ii. The islands on which tourists live are in appalling condition

 iii. The small shops and in particular the butcher shops are not compatible with tourist accommodations

 iv. A number of houseboats are in the poor state of affair

The rearrangement of the present area will cause considerable disruption to the area, but the alternative of completely relocating the houseboats to another part of Dal Lake had been rejected for the following reasons;

 i. It is desirable to locate the houseboats near the lake outflow for water quality reasons even though a sewage collection system is proposed

 ii. The boulevard area is close to the city thus transport distances both on land and on water by Shikara are kept relatively short

iii. Aesthetically it is desirable that the lakes open water areas remain clear of human developments

 iv. Any extension of houseboats beyond the boulevard area will put considerable strain on services generally

The three alternative proposals have been investigated for houseboat sanitation, which are

a) Chemical toilets

b) Holding tanks with periodical collection by specially constructed tanker barges

c) A reticulated collection system of sewers and pumping stations followed by treatment in an oxidation pond before discharge. This is the recommended alternative.

Solid waste disposal:

Consideration should be given to training the houseboat owners and their staff to burn waste paper in the hot water heaters and to composting all food scarps. A collection system for such items as tin canes and bottles should be instituted by the Authority.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED : Except for harvesting, neither of the measures suggested for houseboat sanitation, realignment and beatification were implemented.

 

THE EFFECTS OF PROPOSALS ON NUTRIENT BALANCE

(+ = input, - = output)

Catchment P N
Dachigam & Teilbal Nallah +2.25 65.2
Hillside +2.3 +57.5
Srinagar North 0 0
Srinagar City 0 0
Dal Lake 0 0
Out Flows -1.7 -42.4
Weed Removal -13 -42.4
Balance -10.1 -11.1

 

The recommendations for the open water area are expected to reverse the present accumulation of nutrients in the lake. In addition, they will improve the water quality and remove weeds and provide a positive barrier against further encroachments. Because of the store of nutrients available in the sediments, the corrective actions will take many years to be fully effective. In the houseboat areas the physical surroundings will be improved, the sanitation corrected, the weeds removed and the water quality improved. The visual appeal of these areas will be maintained, the boats arranged in accordance with the quality and provision for orderly growth provided.

MEASURES IMPLEMENTED: Although some measures recommended in the report were accomplished either fully or partly accomplished, however no reversal of accumulation of nutrients took place. Conversely, there have been excessive loadings from catchments and build up of nutrients in sediments and macrophytes. The main factor being the failure to implement the catchment management plant, in particular of Telbal-Dachigham.

IRAM CONSULT

Aslo referred as Project Feasibility Report (PFR) of 1997

This report highlighted most of the problems which had already been mentioned in the ENEX Report of 1978. These are

  1. Catchment area conservation through afforestation and soil conservation
  2. Settling basin
  3. Marginal dredging in Hazratbal and Nagin Basins
  4. Dredging within hamlets
  5. Acquisition of land and structures within the lake
  6. Selective deweeding and skimming
  7. Peripheral Sewerage systems for Dal and Nigeen lakes
  8. Low cost sanitation around Dal and Nigeen lakes
  9. House boat sanitation
  10. Solid waster management
  11. Ecological barriers and buffer zones
  12. Northern foreshore road
  13. Western foreshore pedestrian mall
  14. Paved embankment for demarcation of Nigeen lake
  15. Improvement to water circulation and gated regulators
  16. Improvement to Nallah Amir Kahn outflow channel
  17. Improvement to navigational routes
  18. Dewatering station between Nishat and Telbal
  19. Bio-monitoring, water quality monitoring studies including fisheries and modeling
  20. Community participation and public awareness
  21. Infrastructural development in the form of administrative buildings, laboratories, research labs
  22. National institute for conservation of aquatic and wetland ecosystems

 

Works like dredging, deweeding, solid waster management, improvement to Nalah Amir Khan outflow channel were initiated and were subsequently followed as per the recommendations of Detailed project Report (DPR), Prepared by Alternate Hydro Energy Centre of Rookee University (Now IIT Roorkee), which was given concurrence by GOI and State Govt.

Detailed Project Report for Conservation And Management Of Dal Lake (Ahec – Roorkee-2000)

The report highlights the following problems being faced by the lake, which can be summarised as below:

• Shrinkage in area because of encroachments by hamlets and floating gardens.

 • Reduction in volume by silting caused mainly due to catchment area degradation.

• Increased pollution because of the increasing number of lake dwellers and floating gardens, entry of untreated sewage and solid waste from the peripheral areas and from the hamlets and house boats and agricultural return flow from catchment into the lake.

• Reduction and clogging of water channels within the lake because of encroachments leading to reduce circulation.

• Reduction of fresh water inflow into the lake.

• Nutrient enrichment of the lake-water and sediment resulting in excessive weed growth and change in the bio-diversity in the lake.

• Data deficiency

• Institutional deficiency 

The Conservation and Management plan has, therefore, to address all the above issues. 

PROPOSED INTERVENTIONS
Catchment Management Plan

The degradation of catchment is recognised as an important constituent leading to problems in fresh water lakes. Appropriate catchment management plan, is therefore, an important part of any lake management plan. In the present study this has been drawn out on the watershed basis and the catchment has been divided into the following six zones, consisting of more than one watershed.

• Lake Hillside

• Dal Lake

• City Area

• Chhatrahama

• Dara

• Dachigam

In order to assess the sediment yield, Mirakis’ mathematical model was used. The surface runoff for use in this was computed using the soil conservation service curve number (SCSCN) method, which gave an average value of 575 mm or 185 million m3. The gross sediment yield works out to 1,84,476 tons/yr, while the sediment delivery ratio is computed to be 0.33, resulting in a net sediment yield of 60,877 tons/yr on an average, with the likelihood of its varying between 49708 tons/yr to 67,844 tons/yr.

 The main objective of the catchment management plan is to check soil erosion and degradation process in the catchment area and thus arrest and bring down the sediment and nutrient flow to the lake to the minimum. The associated objective is to rehabilitate and improve the productive potential of the land and improve the socio-economic condition of the inhabitants using watershed and community participation approach.

The catchment management plan has been prepared keeping the above in view. The measures proposed include.

• Restoration of degraded forests through plantation, contour hedgerows and in situ moisture conservation.

• Fuel, wood and fodder plantation of indigenous exotic species.

• Drainage line treatment through properly designed structures such as check dams, R.C.C. drop structures, Retards, Gabions, Stone walls, Trenching, Fencing, Water Tanks and Troughs and Wetting.

• Forage production through Silvi-pasutre, pasture development and on-farm fodder development.

• Beneficiary participation through entry point activity. 

Sewerage and Sewage Treatment

The report mentions: Sewerage and Sewage treatment constitutes a major component of the plan for preventing the pollution of Dal lake. Over a number of years, an integrated, sewerage system in the peripheral area was under debate. JKUEED had even started work and some components viz. trunk sewers and pumping stations have been executed. The total quantity of sewage is estimated to be about 40 mld. There could be two alternatives for treating the sewage. One is a centralised system with one or two treatment plants wherein all the waste is collected by sewers and trunk sewers with 15 intermediate pumping stations and brought to these units. These units will treat the sewage through an activated sludge process and discharge. The wastewater through the Brari Numbal cut into Jhelum.

This system has the following weaknesses:

• Activated sludge process is power intensive.

• Pumping at Intermediate Pumping Stations will consume substantial power.

• Size of trunk sewers and distance of transport increase.

• Failure of any system component puts the entire system out of gear.

• Capital Intensive 

The system proposed in the DPR is a decentralised system with six treatment plants and nine Intermediate Pumping Stations. The number of Intermediate Pumping Stations could not be reduced further because two Intermediate Pumping Stations have been constructed and six are under construction by the J&K Government and these had to be integrated into the system.

In achieving the above concept, the sewerage system was divided into three zones and six sub zones. The population projections for each zone were worked out as follows:

  2002 2017 2032
Zone 1 76903 104740 148259
Zone 2 51530 68259 90634
Zone 3 53617 71108 94301

 

Various treatment technologies were also considered and the FAB technology was considered best suited and has been recommended. The choice is based on process variables, sensitivity of process plant area requirements, power requirements, moving parts, expandability, reliability and restart, familiarity of process and capital & OMR costs. 

This alternative has the following advantages.

• Lower power requirements

• Smaller sewer sizes.

• Failure of any system component will not put the entire system out of gear – only the sector containing that component will face the problem.

• Low capital costs. 

The FAB technology consists of screening, grit removal, biological treatment (bioreactors), tertiary treatment of clariflocculator (with alum), centrifuge and chlorination. Six units as detailed below are proposed:

 

STP 1(a) Habak 3.2 MLD Remarks
STP 1(b) REC 7.5 MLD  
STP 1(c) Nallah Amir Khan 5.4 MLD  
STP 2 Brari Nambal 9.5 MLD

These STPs have been merged

into one at Brari-i-Numbal

STP 3(a) Hotel Heemal 6.6 MLD
STP 3(b) Laam 4.5 ML  
Total 36.7 MLD  

 

Only 40% of the total 36.7 mld will find its way into the Dal lake. The extent of treatment given to the wastewater would ensure that the effluent satisfies the standards and would have substantially reduced level of E.coli and nutrients.

The Report for sanitation in peripheral villages, houseboats and hamlets, including collection and treatment of sewage from houseboats has been framed by by Sulabh International. 

Solid Waste Management

The Report Mentions: The solid waste generated in human settlements within the lake and on the periphery of the lake is one of the contributory factors for the deterioration of the lake environment. Nearly 38000 people reside within the lake and with a capacity of nearly 10,000 persons in the houseboats, the population within the lake contributing to the solid waste could go to about 48000, specially during the tourist season. Apart from this, about 2,20,000 people live on the periphery of the lake, who also, directly/indirectly contribute to the pollution of the lake through indiscriminate disposal of solid waste into the lake water.

A survey of the existing practice indicated that the Solid Waste Management System is not well organised. The following gaps could be identified.

• Provision of open dumps for collection in the peripheral areas. These are not conveniently accessible due to large distances and result in a lot of littering due to the activities of rag pickers, animals, birds, rodents and parasites.

• Garbage is unnecessarily handled several times and even put on ground before being finally transferred to the tractors, tippers or trucks.

• Disposal by land filling at Saidpora Achen does not follow the norms desirable in sanitary land filling practices.

• The menace of substantial quantity of polythene bags, which are non bio-degradable is unchecked.

• Community participation and awareness is lacking.

The data on characteristics of solid waste and their quantity was reviewed. It was found that the waste from the lake had highest percentage of vegetable followed by plastic and a large number of polythene bags. The biodegradable component had a high percentage in this waste. Most of the peripheral area also generates a waste which has got a high amount of compostable material followed by paper and wood and an insignificant amount of recoverable material like metal, rubber, textile etc. Of the three possible methods of disposal viz., incineration, composting and sanitary landfilling, the later two appear feasible. It has, therefore, been recommended to adopt composting on a pilot basis for the waste from within the lake. Till the results of this pilot study are available, the interim measure of landfill may be continued.

Other measures proposed include provision of proper community bins, “Garbage Gobblers” etc. and the design of the same as well as the areas where they can be provided has been indicated.

The collection of solid waste from houses and its haulage to the disposal site will continue to be the responsibility of Srinagar Municipal Corporation. 

Works on Telbal Nala

The Report mentions: The main source of water inflow to the Dal Lake is the Telbal Nala. This also is the main source of sediment inflow and hence to control the sediment entering the lake, a settling basin has been constructed just before the Nala enters the lake. The water from Telbal nala is diverted to the settling basin from where it flows over a 70 m long weir back to the Nala & then to the lake. The diversion weir on the Telbal Nala is still to be constructed.

The flow conditions through the settling basin have been examined and from these the pond level required for diversion of the flow has been worked out. The maximum probable 100 yr. flood in the Telbal Nala was estimated as 141.6 m3/s and the HFL corresponding to this flood has been worked out based on the known cross-sections and slope the Nala. It is found that the embankments built on the Telbal Nala will have to be raised to prevent overtopping during such a flood. Some walls of the settling basin may also need to be raised. 

 Hydrology Works

The inflow of freshwater into a lake induces circulation and generally helps in flushing out pollutants thereby improving the health of the lake. From this consideration, a proposal for bringing about 2 m3/s of water from the Sindh Nala to the Dal lake through the Padshahi canal has been made.

There are many springs on the periphery of the Dal lake. At present the water from these springs gets mixed with the polluted water of various drains. The quantity of this freshwater is estimated to be about 0.28 m3/s. A proposal to segregate this water and convey it directly to the lake has been included in the DPR. 

Restoration and Development
Dredging and Deweeding

The DPR recommends only selective dredging as it can have a pronounced impact on the lake ecology and its long term productivity. The removal of Nishat Bund is not recommended. This is based on the results obtained from the circulation and contaminant transport models. The dredging of hamlets has also not been recommended because of the following reasons:

• The hamlets and floating gardens have become a part of the lake ecology and impart to the Dal lake its unique character. Dredging them out will do away with the uniqueness of the lake. Further the effect of such a large scale dredging on the lake ecology cannot be predicted easily.

• The amount of dredged material is quite large and its disposal will be a problem. Roughly 7.5 Sq.km. area will have to be raised by about 1.5m to dispose off the dredged material. This will means very large cost also both for dredging and disposal.

Some dredging to widen/deepen the blocked channels within the lake has been recommended. 

Likewise, selective deweeding has been recommended in the DPR, which suggests:

Among many in-lake restoration measures, biomass removal using weed harvesters has been carried out in Europe and the USA with some degree of success. In many cases, harvesting of weeds has been followed by chemical applications. In Dal Lake use of chemical control is not at all desirable because of its multiple use. One has to keep in mind that Dal Lake restoration is not a simple task, and requires sound scientific understanding of structure and functioning of the biological communities. An essential pre-requisite in the formation of a restoration project is to set up restoration objectives for the lake. Arguments for carrying through the programme of restoration are to be clearly spelled out in terms of the designated use of the water body. Once restored to a desired level no further extensive management programme should be necessary. It is a common experience that in Dal Lake overabundance of macrophyte vegetation is interfering with boating, sometimes with fishing, with swimming and above all is aesthetically displeasing. 

Resettlement & Rehabilitation Plan

The Report mentions: Five options for shifting of the lake dwellers have been suggested and the State Government may choose the one, which it considers optimal keeping in view the socio-economic and other circumstances. The choice is between full removal and partial removal. Full removal of lake-dwellers does not seem to be a practical option.

The following strategy is proposed for consideration:

While the larger objective may be to shift a major proportion of the population, a beginning should be made keeping in view the following criteria:

• Choosing hamlets, which cause greater pollution/degradation or need to be vacated for aesthetic considerations.

• Identifying the families willing to shift and making arrangements for them only.

• Determining and securing the resources required like finances, residential plots and agricultural land, institutional loans, settling people in business and handicrafts etc.

• The number of people to be shifted in any phase should be in accordance with the resources secured.

• Relief and Rehabilitation carried out to the satisfaction of shifted people, even if their number is small, is likely to result in the reduction of the population in the lake and ultimate achievement of the objective of lake conservation. 

Elements of R&R policy have also been suggested. Factors, which have been seen to be ignored, but which are very important to meet the human consideration have also been described. Monitoring & Evaluation of the programme is a must. Training and Administrative set up have also been described. The staff suggested for the R&R operations may be reviewed keeping in view the scale of operations. 

Research, Monitoring and Data Management Programme

The report mentions: The need for a systematic scheme for the holistic monitoring and management of the lake cannot be over emphasized. There is an express need to plan a future research and monitoring programme, keeping in view the ongoing restoration programmes, management studies and gaps in understanding of the lake eco-system. The future research needs have been identified and the requirements for the same indicated. These include an adequate laboratory and properly qualified staff.

One of the important recommendations is the constitution of a Scientific Advisory Committee to oversee various aspects of the conservation and management plan and make recommendations for its proper implementation and mid course corrections as and when necessary. 

Public Awareness Plan

The Report mentions: An elaborate public awareness plan has been formulated and discussed for generating and increasing general awareness regarding the need for conservation of the lake and popularizing the conservation plan objectives. It also aims at informing the general public about the progress of the plan as well as how everyone can actively participate in cleaning the lake and its sustained conservation. 

Circulation & Contaminant Transport Modelling

The Report mentions: In order to assess the impact of the interventions proposed a circulation and contaminant transport model for the Dal lake has been developed.. The pre and post intervention scenarios have been projected using the model. It has been found that removal of the Nishat pipeline bund is not likely to have much of an impact. It is also found that operating the Brari Numbel Cut is likely to result in a considerable improvement of the water quality in its vicinity. The other proposed interventions appear to have a significant impact on the water quality in the lake, as the results show a considerable decrease in the BOD and concentration of Nitrogen and Phosphorous in the post intervention scenario. 

Eco-restoration

The report mentions:

Development of Telbal Nallah and adjacent Wetland Reserve

It is proposed to develop a 50 metre wide green strips with a pedestrian mall on either side of the Telbal Nallah under thick plantation, so that the whole stretch assumes a pleasant shape of a continuous green over a length of 7 km from Dachigam nallah upto settling Basin.

At present there lies a low lying water logged area on the left bank of Telbal Nallah which envelops an area of about 47.50 hectares and is proposed to be developed as a Wet Land Reserve. The proposed Wetland Reserve shall be planted upon with species which are known to take up nutrients from the water below. This shall help in reduction of the nutrients coming into the lake from diffused sources like Paddy fields and other agricultural areas. It is therefore expedient that this low lying area be developed as a Wet Land Reserve with water channels dispersed around it. The existing settlements in the area can be relocated in phases and in the future the area can be an attraction for the migratory birds. 

Water Channel along NFR.

Settlements have grown in the Dachigam and Telbal Valley Basin mostly along Nishat Harwan road along the foothills of Zabarwan mountain upto Ishbar village. Drainage and sullage of all this area directly goes to the Dal Lake. In order to trap the drainage etc. going directly into the Dal Lake and also stream line the water flowing from springs in this area, a channel all along NFR. with a weir at its tail end near Telbal nallah shall be required. Its function will, interalia, be to act as a biofilter and a collection channel for non point sources of pollution.

A channel 38.1 m (125’-0”) wide at its bed is proposed to be constructed along NFR. from Nishat road intersection upto Telbal nallah termination for a length of 3.8 kilometres. This long channel shall, interalia, be studded with fountains at regular intervals of 60 metres c/c all along. This channel shall also be provided with decorated pathways on either side and at selected fountain sites stated as above.

In addition to above mentioned measures, the report also mentions about development of eco-tourism, craft bazaar, mini zoo, amusement park, cable car, tourist villages as long term perspective plans, which can be taken up only after accomplishment of main issues and recommendations.

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

Myth, Perceptions and the Realities

Digital Map of Dal Lake

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