RESTORING THE GLORY OF DAL LAKE?

Governor (now retired) has sought fresh suggestions for restoring Dal lake. Inspite of spending crores of rupees on new machinery and plants, there has been no improvement. Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (Lawda) is responsible for this failure. But people living in the lake (in boats etc) and in settlements on the bank of the lake also contribute to its destruction, because all the sewage and drainage from these settlements go into the Dal Lake. The political parties played vote-bank politics, and allowed all the damage to be caused. Neither were High Court orders followed nor were people shifted to plots allotted to them. The result is that population of Dal is increasing and lake is shrinking and dying. The Daily Nida-i-Mashriq provides a detailed analysis of this phenomenon.

Excerpts:

 

Failure of Authority:

“The Governor N N. Vohra has sought the views of experts to further extend efforts to restore the glory of Dal lake. It is not the first time that state government has adopted this path. Many experts, on the international level have in near past given their advice and presented papers to the government. The concerned department of Central government while providing funds, has given expert advice and suggestions. But the question is – what is the reason, that inspite of investing crores of rupees, in bringing modernized machinery and plants, Dal’s glory has not been restored nor is serious implementation of court orders, being given any importance. An overview or survey would say that performance of LAWDA (the agency) is main reason for failures. Some years back, foreign machinery and plant worth crores of rupees, were installed in Dal Lake for cleaning and dredging. But within a few years, it is being said these machinery and plants have become useless and no new machinery is required”.

 

Responsibility of Damage:

“The people who are responsible for the destruction and damage of Dal lake include the people living on Dal lake, who live their lives in boats, houseboats and doongas. All the sewage and excrement coming out of these goes into the waters of Dal Lake, which not only promotes the growth of weeds, but pollutes the Dal in every manner. The other source of pollution are the people who live on the  banks of lake, as the sewage and drainage of these settlements, also gets added to waters of Dal. These catchment areas, for whose establishment, municipality and Lawda, have given construction permissions and also concessions, in lieu of ‘extra income’, are directly responsible for pollution of Lake”.

 

Judicial Intervention:

“Some years back, the Honble. State High Court, taking matters in its hand, had given some instructions, which included removing  all constructions within 200 ft of Dal and to construct a green belt there on. But the state government and administration did not give any regard to the instructions of High Court, but even taking this very excuse played vote bank politics and got “kick backs”. In recent past, the state anti-corruption institution had taken the notice of irregularities and illegal acts in the process of buying the machinery and plants, and had charged some employees also. But what happened afterwards, is not known. The people are keen or anxious to know why inspite of spending crores every year, Dal Lakes’s ‘glory’ is not being restored. On the contrary, the process of shrinking of Dal, visibly as well as imperceptibly, continues. They do understand that National Conference, Congress, and PDP led government’s used these for vote bank politics. For people living in Dal lake, new habitations were  marked and residents (of Dal) were given plots and other facilities. Yet the population of people living on Dal lake is increasing, instead of decreasing. Nature had bestowed Kashmir with immense wealth and capital, which also provided livelihood, and had also equipped  it with ways to reduce pollution. But the greed and avarice of man destroyed the immense wealth of nature. We must admit that we lack values, and we are ungrateful. Instead of being thankful to nature for this wealth, we are bent upon destroying it. Perhaps we are facing all the troubles and problems, because of our greed, avarice, ungratefulness. Even after watching the decay or almost death of the lake (Dal), we have no repentance.”

 

[Courtesy:  Urdu daily Nida-i-Mashriq, Srinagar, Kashmir, August 04, 2018].

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