Will float fresh tenders in coming months: SE LAWDA
More than seven years have passed but the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has failed to carry out dredging of Shalimar channel, which now is craving for existence.
The channel was once used to flush out excess water from the famous Shalimar Garden but now has been completely filled with polythene bags and other solid waste.
A group of locals at Shalimar told Rising Kashmir that more than seven years have passed since last dredging but LAWDA has ignored the channel completely.
They said apart from huge grass which has accumulated inside the water channel, blocking the flow of waters.
Athar Javed, a local said that LAWDA is in slumber and not ready to spend a single penny on the water body. “If the dredging work is carried out in the channel, it will add beauty to the surroundings,” he said.
“The water channel has now turned into a cesspool, with foul smell emanating from it,” he said adding that during summers there is also a risk of spread of waterborne diseases.
Another local, Ali Muhammad who works as labourer in the nearby Shalimar Garden told Rising Kashmir that both locals and the government are responsible for degrading the water channel.
“In the year 2017, some officials from the LAWDA started dredging but after some days they left it incomplete. It is a heritage loss, LAWDA should start the work on the project to restore its pristine beauty,” he said.
He said thousands of tourists visit Shalimar garden every year and these things give a negative impression to the visitors.
A senior official at LAWDA wishing anonymity said the authority has already submitted Project Feasible Report (PFR) to the government but there was no response from the government.
“Currently the department is facing shortage of funds,” the official added.
Superintending Engineer LAWDA, Aijaz Ahmad Khan told Rising Kashmir that the dredging will be carried out in the coming months.
“New tenders will be floated for the project and he assured that dredging will be carried out to restore its glory,” he said.
Khan said adding that in the year 2018, they had floated a tender but the contractor to whom the work was allotted refused to clean the silt from the channel.