10:50 GMT09 April 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The natural beauty of India’s Kashmir valley is such that it is often referred to as “heaven on Earth” worldwide. Annually, thousands of tourists take a trip to the Kashmir Valley and visit Srinagar's Dal Lake.

    Dal Lake, which is surrounded by massive mountains, has nearly 500 Victorian-era wooden houseboats which were actually built as vacation homes during British rule in India.

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    In a bid to check for illegally-constructed buildigns surrounding the tourist hotspot, the government is now planning a 30-day long drones-based aerial survey of the region, the media has reported.

    The Srinagar-based Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) would be responsible for conducting the survey, which comes in response to a suggestion made by the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) High Court, which was proposed in December 2019 by its Committee of Experts.

    In April 2019, the J&K High Court had directed the Surveyor Authority of India (SAI) to survey the lake's environs in Srinagar and tackle the issue of illegal encroachment in the tourist-flooded area.

    The results of the drone survey would also be used to obtain a high definition, geometrically correct map of the region surrounding the lake, the reports added.

    In a bid to archive more recently-obtained records, aerial surveys would be conducted repeatedly, in six-month intervals which would be added to a comprehensive report.

    Mobile phone service and internet access were disrupted in the sensitive, terrorist-affected region of J&K in August 2019, when the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution.

    However, in January 2020, internet connections were fully restored in the valley after a blackout lasting almost five months.



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