...but weeds refuse to go out, and panel is divided on means

Weed

Even as the problem of weeds persists, the expert committee on the Sukhna Lake has a divided opinion about the means of removing this. While a section of the members is in favour of manual removal of weeds, the others prefer to opt for mechanised method.

The problem of weeds in the lake has been there for the past few years with no solution in place. The amount of weeds has witnessed an increase, reducing the water area of the lake. The boating area has also shrunk as the boats tend to get entangled in the weeds.

The committee of experts is, however, undecided on the methods that can be adopted for removing the menace. Former union home secretary G K Pillai had suggested that the method followed at the Dal Lake for removal of weeds could be studied and adopted by the UT Administration.

The mechanised method involves use of harvesters for removing weeds. The feasibility of buying the machine or handing the work over to a company was debated by the committee. Terms and conditions that were being offered by the company were not found to be feasible by the committee members. While the purchase of the machine was also debated, this is yet to get the go-ahead.

Some members are in favour of manual removal of the weeds which is at present being undertaken by the UT Engineering Department. However, finding labourers to work in water for long hours is proving to be a hard task, especially in winter when there is a shortage of labourers.

Director, Environment and Conservator of Forests, Santosh Kumar says, "The members of the expert committee are yet to take a decision on the method to be followed for removal of weeds. Discussion has been held over removal of weeds manually as well as by using machines. While at present weeds are being removed manually, it proves to be a problem in the winters. It is difficult to find workers who can stay in water for long in freezing temperatures."

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