Saving water bodies in Kashmir

Varun Kumar
When god created the blue planet and filled the deep drenches with fresh water, he would have hardly thought that one day man will pollute it to such an extent where from it will become impossible to beat a retreat. The importance of water is becoming a worldwide issue and India does not fall too deep in the count. And in India, when we peep deep, J&K is found quite high up in the list.
Indeed, Srinagar is blessed with the deep depths of the Dal and the Pacific         water of the Wullar besides the countless little rivers and streams. The valley might be decorated by these water bodies by nature itself, but only to be polluted with heap of waste by the people themselves.
The various aspects which are responsible for snatching the glory of these water bodies, we found five main cornerstones after a detailed case study of 25 days.
*  Heavy drenching of Dal still unnoticed:-
When it comes to drenching, it has been going on from the past few years openly and unnoticed. The people to hold responsible are the boatmen residing in houseboats who every now and then try to convert a portion of the Dal into a kitchen garden. Our team has even found a company of boatmen cultivating vegetables on large scale for commercial purposes. On looking into the water and after a prolonged investigation, it was found that the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) Department constructed a separate colony years ago near JVC  Bemina to habitat the boatman on large scale and curb encroachment. The plan worked for a couple of years. But after that, to utmost surprise, these boatmen sold away these houses in colonies to earn revenue and rehabilitated to house-boats again on mass-scale to add to the problem.
* Waste-disposal into Dal:-
Valley produces tons of garbage every day. Besides the local people residing near the water bodies, some other vehicles ferrying waste from surrounding areas were found dumping heaps of garbage into these water bodies en masse.
The environmental activists reacted to the serious problem which later ended up in the construction of large pits for waste disposal and free dustbins especially to Dal residents.
*  Sewage-flow Dal and Wullar:-
In the past few years, all the drains in the city and adjoining had one common destination?   The Dal in the central and the Wullar in the northern side. Due to constant sewage flow into these water bodies, their size was decreased by around 15 kilometers which is shocking yet not surprising.
Taking notice of the serious problem, various sewage-treatment plants were established which ceased a problem to a greater extent but our team report suggests that there is still a lot of work to be done to tighten the screws on the grave problems.
* Use of toxic chemicals:-
To ensure early ripening of the fruits and increase the size and quantity of other commercial vegetables, valley-folk drove relentlessly towards profitable and lucrative markets by making use of chemicals which proved to be a disaster for the aquatic life.
The case study in Apple town of Kashmir sopore revealed to our team that decline in fish population in world famous Wullar lake was a consequence of the frequent use of toxic-chemicals. And that was not all! The use of these chemicals became so orthodox that they soon began to be supplied to every nook and corner of the valley. As ill luck would have it, the ultimate sufferer of the hazard was the aquatic life in general and surrounding population in particular.
As an evil consequence, Cholera cases were reported recently from several villages like Lawaypora.
This case study was enough to reveal the curtains which had not been raised from several previous dark years.
(A TGCC Team NIT Srinagar initiative)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here