Pollution takes heavy toll on Shallabugh wetland

Authorities in slumber


Shallabugh (Ganderbal): Unabated pollution coupled with lack of conservation measures have drastically affected eco-system of Shallabugh wetland here.
 Lakhs of migratory birds mostly from Siberia, Northern Europe, China and Central Asia, throng the Shallabugh wetland annually during winter. Some of the popular migratory birds spotted in Shallabugh include Goose, Bar goose, White heeled duck, Shoveller, red-crested Pochard, white-eyed Pochard, common Teal, Pintail, Mallard, Gadwall, Coot, Hoonk and Graylag, Pintail, Common Teal and Gadwall.
 However in absence of conservation measures the flora and fauna of the wetland has been affected posing serious threat to the migratory birds.
 Spanning over 14 kilometers, Shallabugh mainly receives its waters from Aanchar lake in Srinagar. Comprising of 36,000 kanals Shallabugh spreads from Takenwari Srinagar to Sangam Ganderbal.
 The locals said unabated pollution has turned the wetland’s water blackish.
 “Over the years the wildlife authorities have failed to take measures to check the unabated pollution. The pollution levels have crossed all parameters. From past few months many bird species including goose locally called Aenz is local parlance have moved to adjoining wetlands as they could not withstand pollution in the wetland,” they said.
 The locals said till few decades ago, the wetland was a favorite haunt of tourists. “The visitors used to pitch tents and enjoy bird watching. But due to unabated pollution they have stopped to come here,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a local youth.
 Environmentalists said that inflow of sewage and bio-medical waste from SKIMS Soura has destroyed flora and fauna of the wetland.
 “Besides use of pesticides, DDT and insecticides on agricultural land in catchments has affected the habitats of migratory birds and affected their mating,” said a research scholar.
 Sources said that the Pollution Control Board (PCB) had taken up the matter with the Director SKIMS few years ago and recommended construction of a sewage treatment plant to prevent influx of pollution. But nothing substantial has been done in this regard.
 Muhammad Amin Bhat forester of Shallabugh wetland acknowledged that pollution is a major threat to its flora and fauna.
 “Pollution from mostly Anchar lake and SKIMS coupled with influx of sewage from hamlets in the catchments areas have taken a heavy toll on the wetland,” he said
 “Lack of staff is hampering our conservation works. To save the wetland from pollution inflow of Aanchar and Sangam waters should be stopped,” he added.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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