Address problems afflicting Gharana wetland

Can Gharana Wetland Reserve in R. S. Pura, Jammu be conserved , protected , developed and widened to replenish the area which has gone dry or encroached upon so that it could return to its pristine glory as an abode of migratory birds in thousands , as a tourist place especially for bird lovers etc , we have our fingers crossed . Could natural lovers only rue and not all of us seeing this magnificent wetland spread over 1500 kanals shrunk to only 213 kanals, that also as of 2009 leaving the present state of its area to conjectures and estimates only? Should not the Integrated Development Plan, even if belatedly prepared to save and develop this wetland, be made fully successful? We have rationale to doubt as there are several reasons for it.
Firstly, we are not appearing to be conscious of what nature has gifted us with and how best could we make use of it for various purposes, topping which is from the tourism point of view. Secondly, when such world famous natural asset is observed being violated in various ways due to abject neglect of the Government and indifference from the people living in the adjacent area , steps were not initiated in time . Thirdly, despite the wetland having gained importance to the extent of having been declared as Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) which happens to be the important partner of Birdlife International and which is designated as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the Department of Science and Technology, the Sstate Government has been found wanting in making efforts to rein in the available professional knowledge of these organisations especially like the BNHS in conservation and biodiversity. Fourthly, things which should have on its own been fairly taken care of by the Government and its administrative apparatus , is sought to be highlighted by the people feeling concerned about, followed by filing Public Interest Litigation and therefore, the intervention of the courts sought , that being the ultimate recourse and the hope. Fifthly, even after the State High Court taking cognisance of the matter followed by the numerous directions from it in respect of addressing the sensitive problems of this wetland , nothing appears to be really making things move in the desired direction.
That precisely is the problem which should be a cause of concern demanding a serious and preferred attention of the State Government. The main problem as on date, in respect of this wetland, is the land acquisition process going haywire especially the private land. It is revealed that whatever ‘efforts’ are reported to have been made in this direction, have in fact, yielded no results. What role has been played by the Revenue, Forest and Wildlife Protection Departments so far in respect of the issues plaguing this wetland, hardly needs to be enumerated but the recurring directions given to them by the Governor’s Administration seem to have been either not complied with or difficulties encountered in the process have not been timely highlighted and solutions found out. In fact, it has been unanimously agreed after proper assessment, that not less than 408 kanals of land in the vicinity of the wetland was required to be acquired . We do not understand as to why for such a noble cause, some of the private land owners should act in an uncompromising and negative way and show inflexibility in selling their land to the Government. They, on the contrary, were under obligation to help this wetland , a symbol of natural pride and lot of fame, regain its sheen and glory. The Government had authority to proceed for compulsory acquisition, a fact which should help them change their intransigence.
The Division Bench of the High Court has, accordingly, directed the Government for arranging Rs. 12 crore for purposes of going ahead with acquiring of private land as also to address the connected problems. It has granted six weeks time to the Government as it is decidedly agreed that without land acquiring for multiple purposes , this priceless natural gift to us could not be retrieved from the utter morass which it is in and is fighting for its survival.