In a major move, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has decided to put the number of houseboats in the Dal and Nigin lakes at 910. Not only this, houseboat owners will also have to register online within 30 days from the date of notification.
A government notification reads, “To preserve the marine ecosystem of both lakes, the new policy aims to regulate the functioning of houseboats operating in lentils and niggins lakes by adopting a model of sustainable and responsible tourism. ”
The Administrative Council (AC), headed by the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has also approved the policy of providing a sustainable source of life while preserving the region’s ecosystem.
According to the approved design of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, houseboats need to be equipped with bio-digestion for scientific treatment of solid and liquid wastes. They must be properly equipped with fire protection equipment, as well as trained personnel verified by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
This policy advances regulations for other facilities such as kitchens, housing, first aid and electricity. This ensures availability of minimum basic amenities to the tourists.
Dal and Nigin lakes are two of the most prominent lakes of Kashmir. Apart from being popular for its natural beauty, these lakes are celebrated for their shikara rides or houseboats, which is an experience of a lifetime.