Dal Lake among several others in J&K to be declared protected wetlands

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Jammu, Mar 31 (PTI) Srinagar’s Dal Lake along with five other famous ones in Jammu and Kashmir are to be declared protected wetlands, an official said on Wednesday.

The other lakes which are to be declared protected wetlands include Purmandal lake, also called Chotta Kashi, located in Samba district, an official spokesman said.

The decision was taken in the maiden meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Wetland Authority, chaired by Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam.

The meeting was held to chalk out a strategy for the conservation and management of wetlands.

The chief secretary passed directions to declare Wular, Dal, Nigeen lakes in the Kashmir region and Sanasar, Manasbal and Purmandal lakes in the Jammu region as protected wetlands, the spokesman said.

Chief Secretary Subrahmanyam also directed the Forest Department which is the nodal department for the preparation of digital inventory, documentation and development of a geo-spatial database on wetlands, to profile various wetlands of Jammu and Kashmir and recommend their notification under the Environment Protection Act and Wetland (Conversation & Management) rules.

The Department was asked to evolve a strategy for the regulation of activities within the notified wetlands and their zone of influence, besides recommending conservation plans for sustainable use of water resources, the spokesman said.

He said there are a total number of 3,754 water bodies in the Union Territory and they are being regulated by different departments and agencies including forest, wildlife, soil and water conservation and local government bodies.

The chief secretary impressed upon the nodal department to identify the wetlands for conservation under the provisions of relevant laws and rules, the spokesman said. PTI TAS RAX RAX