funds meant to depollute the Dal lake may have been embezzled. Rajinder Tickoo, Jammu and Kashmir vigilance commissioner, has alleged that out of the Rs 88-crore grant released to the state government, Rs 15 crore has been siphoned off by Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (lwda) officials in the name of integrated development of the lake. He alleges that the records have been fabricated to withdraw the money. However, lwda officials have passed the buck to politicians who they say are preventing them from removing the encroachments in and around the picturesque lake. Reacting to a public interest litigation, the Supreme Court has sought details from the state government of expenditures incurred to clean and develop the lake.
The Dal lake has shrunk from 25 square kilometres (sq km) in 1947 to 11 sq km today. On 20 per cent of this lake area, private entrepreneurs grow various vegetables on the floating gardens. Far removed from its past glory, the lake is reeling under pollution and it looks deplorably dirty.
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