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Dal lake dwellers may receive cash relief to relocate

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to pay cash compensation for rehabilitation of Dal Lake inhabitants who will be shifted under a plan to decongest the shallow urban water body, which attracts tourists from across the globe. The repeated attempts by the government to rehabilitate Dal dwellers in Srinagar for past two decades were marred by the corruption, electoral politics and red tape.

The new administration under Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu has also decided that the dwellers would reserve the water usage rights on the lake despite their resettlement. Many of them will also be shifted to vertical buildings that are planned to be constructed on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

According to official data, around 9,000 families live on Dal Lake and some of them have propriety rights over the land and floating gardens as well. Earlier, administration provided alternate land to some inhabitants of Dal Lake but the move was marred by corruption. Some had either sold or rented out the land provided as compensation. “With the cash compensation, the dwellers can go to their place of choosing. Human rehabilitation is a big issue and we have been directed to do everything to save Dal Lake and take care of people as well,” vice chairman of Lakes and Water Ways Development Authority (LAWDA) Ghulam Muhammad Dar told ET.

For the first phase of cash compensation programme, Dar said that the new administration has earmarked Rs 65 crore.

Source: Economic Times