Shrinking Wullar Lake

Wullar lake in Kashmir’s Bandiporadistrict needs no introduction for its being one of the largest fresh water lakes not only in India but of Asia. Nilmat Puran calls it by the name of Mahapadamsar and has been respected for its grandeur, grace and to the extent of worshipping it as a boon of the nature while crossing it in boats. However, times have changed, ‘massive development’ has taken place, materialism and below the average level of politics have taken big frog leaps but the value and importance of this graceful massive lake has diminished considerably. Environmentalists, nature lovers, ecologists and those living in the nearby areas having seen it six – seven decades ago and its position now, must be feeling increasingly perturbed and upset over conversion of its larger parts in catchment areas into agricultural land coupled with intense pollution from generated wastes and weed infestation, wanton hunting of water fowls and migratory birds. Its area is not only shrunk considerably but continuous dumping of waste on its banks is posing a grave danger to this lake.
Everything in this universe has its limits, life, endurance and capacity, beyond which it is impossible to infuse any element of elasticity to make it run for any moment. The same verily applies to this lake too as perhaps the limits and the ‘endurance’ of this lake to bear any more blows in the shape of dumping of waste material, carcasses of dead animals is crossing its limits, if it has any, for that. What about the flagship scheme of ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’ of the Central Government which has assumed the proportions and importance of nothing being short of a social revolution in ensuring and spreading consciousness about cleanliness, hygiene and clean environment as having, not in the least, ameliorated the lot of this lake by ridding it of dumping of waste material.
We have separate schemes tailored exclusively for treatment and disposal of solid waste material, then how come the UT Government is not paying adequate attention towards preventing any sort of waste material being dumped with impunity in this lake. What about the proposed Solid Waste Plant which was to come up at an identified site at Sumbal is not known and inordinate delay in starting that project is going to damage this lake considerably. Besides, what role is being played by Wullar Conservation and Management Authority in protecting and saving this lake is not known as no progress report to that end is being issued by it for public knowledge.
It is really shocking to know that more than 630 tonnes of garbage is being dumped every month on the banks of this lake and it is the Municipal Committee which is doing it means this all is well within the knowledge of the authorities. Imagine how much annually the rut, waste, refuse and other disposable material find its way into or near the banks of this lake and how much colossal damage to its extent, quality of water and its bio diversity must be taking place. Who bothers and who feels alarmed and why it is not felt that by ravaging this lake at this speed, it would turn into a big muddy nullah and its area and land thus turned barren would later accommodate a few residential colonies to come up.
There would hardly be any parallel anywhere in the world to the extent of such disregard and hostile attitude towards this wonderful, grand and elegant boon granted, perhaps, specially for Kashmir by nature. We would urge the authorities to leave no stone unturned in taking steps to save this lake from dying and in the meantime, declare the entire area out of bounds for any activity prejudicial to its health, nay existence.