The Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has procured new high-tech machines for cleaning up the Dal Lake, said Shafat Ahmed Jeelani, Executive Engineer Mechanical wing LAWDA.
This is happening for the first time since 2012 after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 from the valley.
Jeelani said LAWDA has procured indigenously built high capacity equipment needed in the cleaning process of the Dal Lake from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on the recommendations of the committee of experts appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
“The committee recommended we should have 17 machines, but currently we have only four, and two out of them are almost out of use as their efficiency had gone down. To solve that problem, the committee of experts advised us to get indigenous equipment for the purpose of cleaning the lake,” he said.
LAWDA has received one indigenously built high capacity de-weeding machine, two 100 tonne capacity dumb barges, one self-propelled barge and one weed transfer crane, while one dumb barge is still on its way.
“These machines cost around Rs 4 crore, and this is the first time after 2012 that we have procured new machines,” Jeelani said.
A local resident, Muveez Ahmad said that though it is not the first time that the lake is being cleaned, machines are being used now which will bring efficiency into the process.
“LAWDA used to clean the lake manually. The process was slower and lesser area was covered. But now with these high-tech machines, a larger area will be cleaned at a faster pace. This will add to the beauty of the lake and attract tourists,” said Ahmad.
Some members of the mechanical staff have also accompanied the machines to help local staff with fitting and to train them in their operation.
LAWDA initiated a massive mission to clean the Dal Lake in July after the revised COVID-19-induced lockdown guidelines. One of the most noteworthy tourist destinations, the Dal Lake attracts a large number of tourists from across the world every year and contributes majorly to the economy of the area.