Dal lake turning into marsh; cleaning sluggish

Heaps of weed accummulated along the banks of Dal lake in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Heaps of weed accummulated along the banks of Dal lake in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Sept 27: After remaining shut for more than a month, the de-weeding machines in Dal lake are clearing the weeds from the lake at snail’s pace as large quantity of weed has accumulated the lake surface.
Though de-weeding mach-ines are on the job after remaining shut for a month, the locals around the lake alleged that earlier the authorities did not bother to clean the lake for around a month which led to amassing of huge quantity of weed.
The Dal dwellers said the rowing of shikaras is soon going to be arduous if the LAWDA carries on with the same pace of de-weeding.
Those who live in the middle of the Dal and frequently come out towards the foreshore road said that with every passing day, rowing of the boats in the lake is getting difficult.
“The weed infestation is much as the Lakes and Water-ways Development Authority (LAWDA) forgot the process of removing the weeds in August. Now they are doing it, but they don’t seem to be reaching anywhere,” Bilal Ahmad, a Shikarawala said.
While the lake, as per locals, is turning into a marshy land at few places, the LAWDA is just sticking to only few scattered places where it is carrying out the cleaning process. The locals identified few spots in the middle of the lake where a semi-solid layer of weeds have covered the surface of the lake. “The de-weeding machines rarely go there”, they said.
“To make it appear free of weeds and clean, they are just roaming near SKICC. They don’t do the cleaning in other areas. What is the fun of cleaning the lake at just few places, while they are, in a way, letting the lake to die as it is rapidly turning into a swamp due to the accumulation of weeds,” said another Shikarawala.
While on one hand, the LAWDA is cleaning the lake, it has also failed in dumping the tons of weed that it is removing out of it. “These weeds are lying on the roadside unattended. It has led to foul smell which emanates from it”, they said.