Pokhribal fast turning into cesspool, craves urgent official attention

A view of Pokhribal (Part of Nigeen Lake).
A view of Pokhribal (Part of Nigeen Lake).

Irfan Tramboo
SRINAGAR, Dec 28: Even as Khushal Sar was cleaned and brought back to glory under public-private partnership, the Pokhribal-which is part of the Nigeen Lake -is longing for immediate official attention while pollution continues to choke it.
Termed as ‘Chota Nigeen,’ the outflow channel is connected with the Nigeen Lake in Srinagar while its restoration is being termed as a key for the rejuvenation of Nallah Amir Khan, Gilsar, Khushal Sar including Anchar Lake.
The experts are also terming the restoration and cleaning of the Pokribal important and pivotal for the sustenance of the Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake as it serves as an important navigation system that connects the vast range of water bodies in Srinagar.
However, the official inertia and inaction have been proving disastrous for the rejuvenation of Pokribal as the administration has so far failed in carrying out the necessary dredging as well as the demarcation including taking several other important measures.
The locals said that while the interiors of Dal Lake are in shambles, the Pokhribal is at a fast pace turning into a cesspool, craving for official attention eluding it for long.
Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo who heads the Nigeen Lake Conservation Organization (NLCO) told Excelsior that it is very important to address the issues faced by the Pokribal and its navigation system if the administration wants to rejuvenate, restore the water bodies.
He also said that Pokhribal has now become a cesspool, adding that while some of the work has been carried out by the concerned agency “but does not seem to be enough as the main issues remain unaddressed,” he said.
To tackle the pollution, there was a demand of installing a trash barrier from the Ahmadakadal side to prevent the trash, particularly polythene from flowing downwards; however that too has not been done so far.
Dr Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Vice-Chairman, J&K Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) told Excelsior that they will be carrying out the necessary works soon and that they will make sure that Pokhribal is cleaned and restored.
“We have already tendered out the works that we will be carrying out, and hopefully, we will be starting it soon,” he said.
Wangnoo said that there is a need for thorough dredging and demarcation to proceed ahead with the task of restoration of Pokhribal “The encroachers are doing what they are good at while the administration needs to take the necessary steps,” he said.
The locals said that the main issue which the Pokhribal is facing is that drains are flowing directly into the water channel connecting other major water bodies; as a result, all the connected water bodies get polluted.
On the issue of drains, Wangnoo said that drains need to be arrested there and there are STPs situated these and these drains could be easily connected to avoid their direct flow into the water outflow channel from Ahmadakadal side.
Earlier, it is to be noted here that NLCO had restored a spring just near Pokhribal, however, now that too is facing a tough time as now a drain flows directly into, causing pollutions.
Wangnoo who took up the work of rejuvenating Khushal Sar and was successful in it said that cleaning and restoring the Pokhribal is a job of 15-20 days provided the administration wakes up and starts the necessary work.