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KASHMIR
RTR357VH 
July 23, 2012 
An Indian tourist enjoys water skiing on the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar June 10, 2012. For nearly... 
Srinagar, India 
Indian tourist enjoys water skiing on waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar 
An Indian tourist enjoys water skiing on the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar June 10, 2012. For nearly a century, hand-carved houseboats bobbing on a placid lake drew millions of visitors including George Harrison, businessman Nelson Rockefeller and actress Joan Fontaine to the stunningly beautiful Himalayan region of Kashmir. But the number of ornate boats is dwindling because of a 21-year-old ban on new construction of cedar wood houseboats and strict rules on renovation. Houseboats were first introduced in Dal and Nageen lakes by the British nearly a century ago. "There were 1,500 two decades ago when an anti-India insurgency hit the region, sending tourism numbers crashing. But nearly 800 houseboats are left now and the number is dwindling with each passing day," Mohammad Azim Tuman, president of the Houseboat Owners Association, said. Authorities say pollution from houseboats is one of the factors threatening the survival of Dal Lake. Local officials say that during the summer tourist season roughly 100,000 liters of sewage from houseboats spews into the lake, feeding weeds and choking the lake and its aquatic life of oxygen. "The government's priority is to save the Dal and Nageen Lakes, so there is a blanket ban on new construction of houseboats and strict rules to renovate them, said a senior official at the Kashmir's tourism department. Picture taken June 10, 2012. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli (INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT TRAVEL) 
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