Paradise – that  is changing into hell

In an editorial note, the daily Uqab writes that Kashmir, once called paradise is fast changing into hell, a place that would not be fit for living. The pressure of population, changes in the way of living, and greed and negligence have all contributed towards its decline. Forests, water bodies, tourist places, have been adversely affected.

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Anti-encroachment drive

Hassan Zainagiree

 The government has come out with a state environment policy, for conserving and protecting state environment, which is facing many challenges. As a first step, the government has started an anti-encroachment drive, and some government land has been retrieved. The first priority should be to do away with encroachments on water bodies. There should be no compromise in that, in decimating the hillocks of greed. There is no way to defend occupation of Kahchari land. The campaign to recover encroached land must be result- oriented, and must involve civil society to facilitate the task. But there should be no laxity in removing every kind of encroachment related to forests, water bodies, and highway.

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Talab: Endangered Heritage of Kashmir

Rayees Ahmad Pir

 Kashmir was known for its water bodies; ponds or ‘Sar’ played an important role, acted as storage for water during floods, and were the habitat for flora and fauna. The disappearing ponds of Kashmir due to  rapid urbanization, public encroachments and apathy of concerned department have been worrisome. There is hardly any initiative towards projecting Kashmir Environmental News. Glaciers are retreating, rainy days are decreasing, demand for water is increasing. The ponds need to be rejuvenated and conserved.

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Absence of Forest Policy

The daily Kashmir Images writes that once 80% J&K state’s territory was under forest cover, but today it is less than 50%, that shows the extent of damage done to forests. The loot of the forest is going on, with smugglers  active and department conniving with them, because of corruption. The management of forest wealth is so poor that even though forest department  stores have enough timber, that is rotting, but it is not being given to people  who need it. The other worrisome factor is that management of ‘minor forest products’ – MFP, that include herbs and medicinal plants – is now non-existent.

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ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION?

In an editorial note, the daily Kashmir Uzma writes that we have become insensitive and are no more humane. We have played havoc with our environment, and are completely responsible for environmental degradation. A recent survey rues the state of Wullar lake- the largest fresh water lake of Asia. The lake that was famous for fresh and sweet water, sanctuary of migratory birds, and a defence against floods, has shrunk, being encroached and all the sewage and drainage brought by Jhelum gets deposited there. We have also destroyed other water bodies, Dal, Anchar, Nigen. Our rulers and administrators, instead of protecting these natural sources, have been filling their coffers in the name of protection. This is even an onslaught on Kashmiri Culture.

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SRINAGAR: NOW A DIRTY CITY

It is really very sad that a city known for its pleasant climate and beauty, should be called one of the most polluted cities, writes Kashmir Uzma editorially. The daily writes that the survey conducted by WHO gives a very grim picture. Not only is the polluted atmosphere harmful for people, but it is definitely going to affect tourism adversely. It is imperative that people as well as government should take effective measures to set the situation rights.

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SAVE THEM NOW

Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat

Dal and Wular lakes are highly significant in terms of their influence on Ecology, Environment and Economy of Kashmir. The uncontrolled addition of dangerous pollutants to these lakes have played havoc, writes M. A. Bhat in an analytical article. According to him the lakes are near total collapse, because there has been lack of sincerity and consistency in executing operations to save them. To save these lakes, we need  a multi-pronged action plan. There is dire need to rework sewerage systems around the periphery of these lakes. Biotechnological intervention is a technical method. Besides STP’s other non-conventional methods of treatment are needed. Legal intervention is a preventive method.

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THE PILLAGE OF TREASURES

The Urdu daily Uqab writes editorially that Kashmir was known for the abundance of its forests and the quality of timber. However, today the situation is that we are importing timber from outside. Our forests have been not destroyed, rather looted by smugglers with the connivance of forest authorities. Inspite of government’s claims, smuggling of wood/ timber is an open trade and they are shielded by corrupt administration. If we decide to wake up and want to stop Kashmir becoming a wasteland, then a comprehensive programme for afforestation and protection of forests has to be chalked out.

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POLLUTION OF WATER BODIES

 “Major water bodies in Kashmir including Wular and Dal have been polluted due to the flow of garbage and untreated sewerage into them, writes Rising Kashmir editorially. Those who live around these lakes have spoiled their beauty and are responsible for increased pollution of the lake. But more than the people, it is the government which has to take the onus for the deteriorating condition of the two major lakes and other streams in the rural areas. The government agencies including the Municipal Committees have failed to prevent the people from turning the water bodies into dumping sites. However, more condemnable is the approach by some departments which have contributed to the pollution of the lakes by raising structures illegally in prohibited areas. 

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SAVE DAL

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(Image Courtesy kashmirmonitor.in & wikipedia.org, flickr.com)

Khairunnisa Aga

The people who are unaware of the life of inhabitants of Dal Lake will be surprised to know that slogan Save Dal’ has become ‘kill its inhabitants,’ writes Khairunnisa Aga. According to her Dal lake is the symbol of beauty of Kashmir and is central to civic life. It is part of ecosystem and contributes to biotic and a-biotic growth of surroundings. Save Dal project is understood as restriction on encroachment, its conservation and rehabilitation of people. But rehabilitation programme has left them – de-rehabilitated, the community marginalized and they have lost their livelihood. Sewage Treatment Plants have added to the problem of inducing pollutants into lake waters. That has affected vegetable production.

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