Srinagar, June 26: Minister of State for Forest Ecology and Environment, Mir Zahoor Ahmad today said that for Conservation and Management of Wullar Lake, Wullar Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) was constituted in 2012 and an amount of Rs 45.39 crore has been utilized till March 31,2016 out of an amount Rs 60 crore released by the Centre.
The Minister was replying to a question raised by Zaffar Iqbal Manhas.
The Minister said a Comprehensive Management Action Plan (CMAP) was framed in 2007-08 by M/S Wetlands International, South Asia for Rs.386.00 Crore for the conservation and eco-restoration of Wullar Lake and its associated ecosystems, out of which Rs.120.00 Crore were sanctioned under 13th Finance Commission. He said against the sanctioned amount of Rs.120.00 Crore the Government of India released an amount of Rs.60.00 Crore, out of which Rs.45.39 Crore have been utilized upto ending March.
The Minister said that net demarcated area of Wullar Lake is 130 square kilometers, out of which an area of approximately one square kilometer is under illegal human settlements for the past few decades.
He said the Wullar lake receives approximately 80% water from rivers and streams from South, Central and most parts of North Kashmir and the water received by the Wullar is full of silt load which has accumulated over large parts of the lake during past many decades.
Mir Zahoor said the Wullar Conservation Plan aims to de-silt an area of 27 sq. Kms of critically silted area, out of which the focus of de-silting is presently confined to 7 sq. Km Area, while as, an area of more than one sq. Km of the lake has been completely de-silted so far.
The Minister said that WUCMA has carried out digitized demarcation of the boundary all along the lake’s periphery in accordance with the revenue records using latest GPS and Remote Sensing technology which has determined the exact area of the lake as 130 square kilometers. He said that 1452 boundary pillars have been erected on ground delineating the lake boundary from adjoining areas.
Mir Zahoor said that 12.30 lac saplings were planted in the highly degraded catchment areas.
He said more than 27 square Kms of the lake is categorized as critically silted area, out of which 7 sq. Km has been prioritized as critically silted area for completion of which 3-4 years shall be required subject to availability of funds.
The Minister said in future, conservation project is proposed to be funded under the PM’s Special Package for J&K. He said an amount of Rs.60.00 Crore has been earmarked for ongoing conservation works of the Wullar Lake but no funds under the said package have been received till date.
Surrinder Choudhary and Ghulam Nabi Monga raised supplementaries to the main question.