Shift houseboats to Dole Demb area, HC directs lake authority

HC asks HUDD to release amount sanctioned for project

Asking the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to expedite the process of the shifting of the Dal Lake houseboats from their current location to the Dole Demb area of the lake, the J&K High Court today also directed the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) to release the entire amount sanctioned for this project.
These directions were issued today by the Chief Justice-led division bench of the High Court, which was informed that the HUDD had released only 1.40 crore of the sanctioned 29.60 crore.
The HUDD should release the entire amount projected for the Dole Demb project, the High Court observed in its orders today.
Earlier, the court was also informed that a revised detailed project report had been prepared for the entire Dal Lake and the project was to be funded by the Central government.
The HC also approved a suggestion by the amicus curiae Zaffar Shaha that in October each year the “lakes conservation week” should be observed to create awareness about the water bodies of the state. Earlier in its directions in January, the HC in its orders had said that the shifting of houseboats to the Dole Demb area had not made any progress at all.
“The directions were given as far back as in 2015. The entire plan was approved by the Cabinet yet no action has been taken,” the court had said, adding that it was already indicated in orders on October 14, 2015, that the process of shifting of the houseboats should be carried in a phased manner.
“The first phase required shifting of 76 houseboats and even that has not been done. We, therefore, direct all authorities concerned to take up the issue expeditiously and seriously and provide us with a status report in the matter,” the HC noted in its January orders.