J&K To Get Its First Artificial Lake By 201227 April 2010
Jammu: Work has begun on creating the first artificial lake in Jammu and Kashmir along River Tawi, right in the heart of Jammu city. The move is aimed at giving a new look to the state's winter capital besides boosting tourism. 'We are sure that the lake will attract a lot of birds and the water body will also help to bring down the temperature in Jammu city a bit and recharge the ground water. It will also be an attractive place for tourists,' said Pawal Kotwal, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. The dry patch in the Tawi River is being utilised for creation of the lake that will cost an estimated Rs 30 crore. Work will be completed by 2012 and the reservoir will primarily be used for augmenting the Ranbir Irrigation Canal. 'People here will be at an advantage as it will increase business and attract more tourists,' said Gulshan Kumar, a shopkeeper. The Tawi not only goes dry in most seasons, it is also prone to flash floods. Environmentalists say if proper measures are not taken, the project could fail. 'The siltation rate is very very high, if the water goes into the proposed lake, it will be filled within a season or two,' said Professor G M Bhat, a Geologist. But government says that's not going to happen, the lake is designed in the shape of a barrage to stop silt from depositing on the river bed and for maintaining a constant water level during flash floods. This lake, when completed, would not perhaps be as great as the Dal Lake, if proper measures are put in place for its creation, it would definitely be another asset for the state that could also help to boost tourism.