Vanishing ponds need conservation, preservation and rejuvenation

A pond full with filth near Muthi.
A pond full with filth near Muthi.

Amit Katoch

JAMMU, Feb 2: The shrinking graph of water bodies in the form of wetlands, lakes, marshes and ponds is on rise which showed “we have become insensitive towards water bodies.”
Although Rural Development Department claimed to have spent Rs 530 lakh on the up gradation / development of 186 traditional ponds in Jammu district but situation on ground is contrary to the claim. Click here to watch video
“Decades back the picture of ponds was different in our area. The water was clean from all waste whether biodegradable or non-biodegradable even pond water was used for drinking purpose but now our cattle/livestock even avoids to visit these highly hazardous water spots,” this is what a nomad told Excelsior News.
The traditional ponds which are now confined to the country side are crying for their revival and are drying at a very fast rate which is a serious threat to the whole ecosystem. These ponds now are at the verge of extinction.
The people particularly nomad community is the worst victim of this emerging phenomenon where these ponds now are being used as dumping yard for Polythene and plastic bags. Even at some places there is disposal of untreated sewerage water into these ponds which not only pollutes the water but also deteriorates the aquatic life and surrounding environment.
The Rural Development Department claimed the up gradation of 186 ponds in Jammu district and 1053 ponds in Jammu division at a cost of Rs 17 crore.
The Ponds picture around Jammu district is very disturbing because their number has decreased and many of them have disappeared giving an ugly look to the picturesque beauty of Jammu.
“These ponds were once used to be filled with clean water besides being a source of attraction for washing and bathing purpose. But now the situation has reached to its climax where even animals hesitate to drink this contaminated water,”said Ex-Sarpanch of Riapur-A, area.
At Barnai, Bantalab and Chinore the ponds are in poor condition due to discharge from local nallahs.
The local people criticized the concerned department for making hollow promises and assurances. They maintained that total negligence and lack of responsibility on the part of Government has brought these water bodies to the brink of extinction.
“The way we are heading in a blind way towards modernization at the cost of environment will not only effect the present but coming generations also,” they said.
“So balanced and a holistic development model is the need of hour. The preservation, conservation and rejuvenation of ponds need a collective effort to make them free from garbage, dirt and filth so that the pristine glory of ponds could be revived,” the people said.