Hundreds of crores go into drain
Srinagar, Aug 24: Despite spending hundreds of crores on conservation and management projects, the condition of the famed Dal Lake here continues to be deteriorated.
Even though crores of rupees have been spent so far, the authorities have failed to restore the beauty of the famed Dal. “It has been seen that Lakes and Water Development Authority is only carrying out de-weeding around the Shar-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre as the centre has a distinction of hosting important functions both government as well as private. This is the place frequently visited by VIPs and being kept de-weeded to mislead VIPs,” a local resident Habibullah told KNS.
He said that the condition of rest of the lake is deteriorating with each passing day. “If the LAWDA is spending crores on machinery and the officials to improve the condition of lake then why is it deteriorating with each passing day? Dal Lake has only turned a money minting machine for them,” he added.
These days if one would visit the lake, he or she would find that a major portion has been engulfed by the weeds and the growing lotus. Several parts of the lake especially its interiors have turned into swamp as the unbridled growth of obnoxious weeds has engulfed it and is posing a great threat to the water body.
This despite the fact that government is making tall claims that crores of rupees is being spent every year on the preservation of water bodies in the state. As per official figures over Rs 500 has been spent on three conservation and management projects on Dal Lake since 2005. But the condition of the famed lake continues to be deteriorated.
“Political intervention is also one of the reasons which create hurdles in taking of preservation measures of the Lake. Authorities need to relook where there has been mismanagement for implementation of preservation projects despite spending crores of rupees,” an official said.
According to a research on Dal Lake conducted by Dr Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, head of the Earth Sciences Department at Kashmir University, “32% of the lake falls under severe degradation, 48% under medium degradation while as 20% of the lake waters are relatively clean.”
The lake which has shrunk from 31 to 24 square km from 1859 to 2014 faces multiple pressures from the unplanned urbanization, high population growth, nutrient load from intensive agriculture and tourism, it says.
The study has analyzed the long-term biophysical and demographic changes in Dal Lake.
An official of the LAWDA said the government departments were not given the real facts and manipulating the figures on Dal Lake. “LAWDA is hiding the real figures about the Dal but there are some NGO which have been analyzing the water quality of the lake and said its quality has been deteriorated,” the official said.
“Almost all the funds released over the years have been spent on Dal Lake but there is no positive change. The LAWDA alone can’t take steps for preservation of the Dal Lake. It is the responsibility of each individual and there should be close coordination of all government departments for preservation of the Lake and funds are utilized properly,” a senior official said wishing not to be quoted by name.
Dal Lake is the second largest lake in the state and is divided into four basins Small Dal, Big Dal, Gagribal and Nigeen besides small and big Dal have each an island in the center known as Rup or Charchinari. (KNS)