Once upon a time there was a lake called Dal

It is an excellent step taken by Greater Kashmir, to publish photographs of shrinking Dal Lake. It was only due to the selfless service of this daily that before some years when historical Iqbal Par...

It is an excellent step taken by Greater Kashmir, to publish photographs of shrinking Dal Lake. It was only due to the selfless service of this daily that before some years when historical Iqbal Park was made just a garbage dump, it raised its voice against the poor condition and within no time the Jammu and Kashmir bank came to its rescue by adopting this park. Now this park is blooming and is spreading fragrance of flowers all around and same we hope for Dal Lake. It will be worth mentioning here that when a cartoon of noted cartoonist Malik Sajjad was published in Greater Kashmir in which he showed a Shikarawala with his Shikara fitted with rubber tires and a starring, ferrying a tourist on the dried bed of Dal lake through the narrow streets created by the large encroachment in it. At that moment we thought that this just a fun by the artist. But when the photographs of shrinking Dal lake where published, every one realized that the cartoon really spoke truth for all those people who have love for nature and want better future for the next generation. The photograph published on Oct. 19, 2006 is the practical manifestation of the same cartoon. It is said that first impression is the last impression, when the tourists come to visit the valley their first stop is capital city Srinagar and in Srinagar most priority is given to house boats in Dal or the hotels standing on the banks of Dal Lake. But what they find there is no more secret now. Now Dal is not that Dal which used to be in the time of Maharaja Hari Singh. It is now the victim of its own children, to whom it once provided the livelihood. It is rapidly losing its sheen and shine. Question is why we are turning blind eye towards it, why we let it into the hands of merciless corrupt LAWDA officials and other selfish politicians who get political gains out of it, and are making the future of thousands of people dark. If we claim that Kashmir is a paradise on earth then why this paradise is shrinking and why is it being prostituted by a few unscrupulous elements. If this encroachment runs on the same speed , then time is very near when our children will read in their text books that once their was a Dal in the Srinagar city and the archeologists will be provided with a work to trace out the roots of its origin and where it was really situated. If LAWDA is really serious to save the Dal then they must go beyond the formalities of cutting down some willow trees and getting them photographed and highlighted in media. Moreover the corruption in the department must be sternly dealt with. And I on my own behalf request the LAWDA that don't give Habib Naqash any more chance to photograph the ugly Dal. Before he starts to focus his lens again towards it, put a beautiful lake before him. And also don't let Malik Sajjad to have fun of you. Show the beauty which everyone will cherish to see at.
Anayatullah Bhat
Latishat Sopur, Kashmir

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