Article courtesy of Irfan Parray | July 8, 2015 | Greater Kashmir | Shared as educational material
Encroachments, rampant plantation of willows and siltation are eating up Wular Lake. One of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes, Wular, situated in north Kashmir, is fast losing its grandeur.
Belying tall claims of the state government of launching an ambitious project to salvage the famed water body, there is no trace of conservation measures on the ground.
A spot visit reveals that the lake has been silted up, encroached upon from all sides by massive plantation of trees and extension of agriculture fields.
The ever increasing encroachments and population around the Wular Lake is killing its aesthetic beauty.
Experts believe that government should put a demarcation line so that human intervention could be stopped in future.
Locals told Greater Kashmir on Wednesday that government has never demarcated the area of Wular Lake which has given free access to encroachers to grab the land around its banks.
“Wular is dying. It is the largest fresh water body in Asia. All the pollutants are coming into the lake through river Jhelum which is already polluted,” Professor Dr. Khurshid Parray, a noted Geologist said.
He further said that every food product produced from Wular is infected and said that government should put in place stringent environmental laws to save this water body.
A survey conducted by Wetland International-South Asia for the State Government has also painted a grim picture of the lake. It states that direct discharge of solid and liquid wastes from the settlements all along river Jhelum, mainly from Srinagar city and other towns in the upstream areas, have led to degradation of water quality of Wular.
Experts warn that mushroom growth of willows will increase siltation which would in turn kill the lake.
“The inhabitants around the Wular Lake should have toilet systems so that wastage will not go to the water,” experts suggest.
Locals alleged that famous Zaina Lank located in the middle of Wular Lake is also in shambles as government is not doing anything for its conservation.
“If it is improved as a tourist resort then there is chance of rush of people,” locals said.
Additional DC Bandipora, Nazir Ahmad Baba, told Greater Kashmir that there are some projects going on to save Wular Lake and assured that government will take strict action against those involved in encroachments around the lake.
“We will definitely take strict action against encroachments around the Wular Lake,” he assured.