Vanishing Gharana wetland

State revenue records show that Gharana wetlands situated in the border area of R.S. Pora originally comprised 97 kanals and 17 marlas of land. But today these have shrunk to bare 15 kanals and the rest of it has been seemingly grabbed by the locals. The Revenue Department has all along been either unmindful of what was happening to the famous wetland bird sanctuary or otherwise have been conniving at illegal encroachment and occupation by unauthorized persons. We have often invited the attention of the authorities to this unacceptable damage to our Wild Life Sanctuary. But it seems that nobody is really interested in taking up the issue with proper authorities and put an end to a situation in which the Gharana wetland is fast moving towards extinction.
For so many years, the Gharana wetlands have been the winter destination of birds coming all the way from Siberia. Owing to harsh and prolonged winter in Siberian region, these birds migrate to warmer climates but their destinations are usually the spots where the feed is available in abundance. The Gharana wetlands have remained a cherished destination because essentially there was plenty of feed and the place was free for pollution and disturbance. It is worthwhile to note that the birds have a fine sense of selecting a suitable spot. In this background, it becomes the duty of at least two departments namely the Revenue and the Wild Life Preservation. In a sense it should also have been the concern of the Tourism Department indirectly if not directly. Total apathy of the government departments to care for the maintenance of this prestigious bird sanctuary, there have been PILs asking the court to intervene and issue orders for preservation of the wetland as a national trust.
In the latest development, the Division Bench of the State High Court had appointed Court Commissioners  to visit the spot and conduct a survey of ground situation and report back to the Court about their findings. The team took its job seriously and visited the spot and contacted the persons living around and also managed access to revenue records to identify the wetland and its physical status. They have submitted their report to the Court and DE has in its possession a copy of the same. The Court Commissioners have painted a very gloomy and disappointing picture of the wetlands and said that out of the recorded 97.17 kanals of land, the present area is not even 15 kanals and the rest has been encroached upon and occupied by interested people. The report says that at no time has the revenue department taken any step to forestall the attempts of the encroachers and maintain the original size of the wetlands. This is a sad story. The report says that the local have made the wetland a garbage dumping ground and after that they encroach and grab the land. Nobody knows when this land grabbing began and why it continues down to the present day.
It is high time that the Court orders action on war footing that would preserve the wetland in its originality. Illegal encroachments have to be vacated forthwith, environment has to be made clean and without pollution, and the wetland water accumulation has to be given the desired depth so that migratory birds find it suiting their yearly visits. Tourism department can make arrangements conducive to the visitation of bird lovers and lovers of bird sanctuaries just as entertainment. Keep in mind the urgency of the subject and envisaging its employment potential, we hope that the government will focus attention on the proposal.