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Sonia Gandhi to visit Dal Lake

india Updated: May 19, 2010 12:17 IST
Amir Tantray
Amir Tantray
Hindustan Times

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is reportedly keen to see the world famous Dal lake in Srinagar restored to its original glory. She is expected to visit the Valley by this-month end and visit the lake.

Her itinerary includes laying of foundation stone of a colony for Dal dwellers on the outskirts of Srinagar. There are 11,000 Dal dwellers and the government has big plans to rehabilitate them so that they could live with honour and dignity.

Congress party sources disclosed that Sonia herself would see the condition of the lake, the pollution level of which had her worried during her last visit to the Valley in October last year.

The party sources disclosed that it was on the invitation of Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand that Sonia Gandhi would be undertaking the visit of the Valley. She would be shown the change in the quality of waters of Dal lake that has been effected by the urban and housing development ministry, which oversees the work of cleaning of Dal lake, since her last visit.

Tara Chand, the sources said, has been taking personal interest in the improvement of the condition of Dal lake.

The Centre has been quite liberal in funding the Dal cleaning project. On the intervention of Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the state government has received Rs 356 crore for the project.

During her last visit to Srinagar in October last year, Sonia had had a Shikara (luxury boat) ride on the waters of Dal lake and had also strolled along the boulevard.

She had also visited a houseboat anchored along Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex and had stayed there for sometime, before taking a Shikara on the waters of Dal lake, in the backdrop of the revered Muslim shrine of Hazratbal.