Dal Lake losing its glory

PRESENTLY Dal Lake is spread over 1620 hectares, consisting 1305 hectares of waterbody and 315 hectares of marshy area. The lake presently provides shelter to about 50 hamlets with a population of over 50000 people, who have property rights over 300 hectares of agricultural land and 670 hectares of water area.
 Also, there has been growth of built up area like hotels and restaurants in and around the lake. These settlements spill all their wastes into the lakes. This results in increasing levels of solid waste from the peripheral areas and from the hamlets into the lake resulting in sedimentation and excessive weed growth. Moreover, reduction and clogging of water channels within the lake because of encroachments leads to reduction of fresh water inflow into the lake. Houseboats are one of the most preferred attractions of Srinagar. Presently there are more than 1200 house boats inside the Dal Lake. These houseboats also eject their wastes directly into lake again resulting in sedimentation and excessive weed growth. Presently estimated 9000 metric tons of waste is annually disposed directly into Dal Lake. SMC in one of its reports in 2009 confirmed that 44.2 percent of the waste generated does not have collectors, vanishing into waterbodies through a huge network of open drains. About 60 sewer drains pour into the lake along the Dalgate-Saida Kadal water channel, transmitting a chunk of solid waste. Three of the five water bodies Khushalsar, Pokhrial and Anchar are in terminal stage. The choked waterways if revived can fame water transport of Srinagar. The absence of a planning has also stretched the surface transport in the City to limits with no or little addition or widening of roads in the last century. The encroachments instigated by popular greed had deteriorated the condition of the lakes. There is a need for strict provision for the families which have encroached upon the lake. This may need immediate dislodgement of the families to save the natural heritage. Dal Lake and Nagin Lake have reduced to 12.5 sq.kms on account of sewage, drainage, garbage disposal, siltation due to soil erosion, agricultural run-off and deforestation of catchment area. This process has further accelerated by the growth of floating gardens and construction of houses in and around the lake. All this has increased the process of eutrophication of the lakes and has put the very existence of these waterbodies and aquatic life in danger of extinction.
 
Dr. Rashid Ashraf Wani
rsogami@yahoo.co.in

Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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