This has a reference to news item ‘Dera Top Mela’ DE Aug 5, 2018.
In this connection, it is submitted that there is a small fresh water lake on the lofty hillocks of upper reaches of village Marothi in Chenani area. This lake has historical and heritage importance as being directly linked to religious rituals of kings of erstwhile Chenani State. A rural mela is held on the lush green side tracks of this lake from the centuries with participation of public from Udhampur and Doda districts. This year it was a historic moment for the residents of this area that the DDC Udhampur inaugurated this mela after covering very difficult hilly terrain. It was great encouragement to the public. Besides, the DDC could know ground situation prevailing in these hilly areas. Coming to the basic point. I would like to say that this most important mini-lake of this area is about to collapse due to human activities as no steps have been taken for its conservation. In fact, it has been allowed to die. A close look to the lake reflects that in the past, it may have spread over a larger distance but now wild grass has grown everywhere in the lake. Soil erosion is usual affair at this place. This wild grass has grown very fast during the last ten years. The silt and mud has filled more than half of the lake. So there is urgent need to save this lake and prepare a plan for its conservation. Pertinent to say that today there was mela because some portion of lake was there but tomorrow if there will be no lake, will the mela be held ? There is LAWDA and many other agencies working for the conservation and development of water bodies of J&K State. Will they turn their efforts to save this lake? I would like to request DDC Udhampur to prepare a special plan for the protection of this lake either through DDB or send it to Govt of India for funding to save the historical and cultural identity of this area by ensuring survival of this lake where not only Hindus but also Gujjars and Bakerwals offer their prayers for safety of their cattle, wealth and prosperity.
Rajinder Chand Anthal
Anthal House, Chenani