Govt jolt to Dal conservation

Funds stopped ‘temporarily’ as LAWDA fails to submit UCs

Govt jolt to Dal conservationIn yet another jolt to the Dal Lake conservation program, the State Government Thursday ‘temporarily’ stopped the funds worth crores of rupees in the wake of failure of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority to submit the Utilization Certificates (UCs) for the last year.
Sources told Greater Kashmir the Housing and Urban Development department this afternoon sanctioned the release of Rs 5.62 crore to LAWDA, the body entrusted with Dal conservation, for conservation of the lake.
“The funds were meant of maintenance and operation and other works like de-weeding. However, the release of the funds didn’t mature owing to the failure of the LAWDA to submit the UCs,” sources said.
A senior official said that finding itself in a fix, the LAWDA later in the afternoon submitted the UCs of the last year. “The funds are likely to be released on Monday,” he said.
“At least Rs 22 crore were released to the LAWDA last year for conservation purposes,” sources said.
The LAWDA Vice-Chairman IrfanYasin said no utilization certificate was pending. “I confirmed it from my subordinates and I was told that the certificates have been submitted,” he said, when asked if the UCs were submitted today only.
The Dal conservation program was in the news recently over the Government’s decision of stopping the funds meant for Operation and Maintenance purposes. The Government’s move had forced the LAWDA to stop the de-weeding process in the Dal and had brought the Sewage Treatment Plants built around the Lake on the brink of the closure.
Meanwhile, the Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) headed by NawangRigzinJora today released Rs 1.5 crore to the Leh district under a centrally-sponsored program for the development of model towns, sources said. Jora hails from Leh. The sources said under the program another Rs 40 lakh were released to Kishtwar district.

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