Slogans won’t do, action will save Dal

For the last so many years Save Dal slogans are repeated and we come across sign boards on the Boulevard. Every politician is politicizing the issue by making statements in public in this regard. ...

For the last so many years Save Dal slogans are repeated and we come across sign boards on the Boulevard. Every politician is politicizing the issue by making statements in public in this regard. Being a National Heritage lake and even classified as the world Heritage, still no revolutionary steps were taken by the state or central Government to save this natural national heritage. Prof. Saif-ud-din-Soz, the Water Resources Minister in the Central Government is from this state and he has been trying his best by way of allotment of funds and crying for the maintenance of the Dal but nothing is visible on ground. The state judiciary i.e. the high court of J&K has taken notice of Dal deterioration and issued notices to the concerned authorities but these fell on deaf ears. And even when contempt notices were issued to the concerned authorities, nothing happened. Immediate action should be taken by removing all the encroachments and widening of Boulevard road in order to restore the original areas viz. 28 Kilometers which has been reduced to 11 square kilo meters right now. The obnoxious and deep rooted weeds namely red algae which has made the water surface red, needs to be removed not by Shikara wallas who only remove the aerial part and leave behind the deep rooted weeds in the Dal bed which again elongates with the change of favorable climate. Kashmir University and Agriculture University, both on the periphery of Dal Lake, have full-flagged environmental departments and allied departments of research for environment which includes research in the hydrophytes and other plants and grasses growing in the water bodies of the valley. But it seems that the research is based on laboratory work and writing of research papers for academic purpose only and no applied research is being done. It should be impressed upon all the institutions and the government agencies to involve themselves in Dal cleaning on target fixed basis if this water body is to be saved. We have the manpower, technology and the resources, but will power, sincerity, honesty and dedication is lacking both at government level and at the public level. Also the political will in practice needs to be applied, but experience shows that political will is non-existent and only money minting goes on.
 Three is a need for a thorough investigation against all those who were responsible for the destruction of Dal by way of misusing billions of rupees earmarked for saving Dal Lake. The biggest mistake was done by allowing the constructions of the Centaur Hotel and SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake. The entire sewerage and latrine waste is flowing into the Dal Lake along with the other wastes from hotels and houseboats, which serves as the best nutrient source for the Dal weeds and other grass to grow in abundance. All the house boats in the front of the Boulevard Road need to be shifted in the backyard of the Dal Lake in order to clean the front portion of Dal Lake to give it a facelift for clean waters.
Dr. G M Tak
Retired Chief Scientist
Shopian, Kashmir

Won't dance
Dear Editor,
 Female folk paramedics of SKIMS deserve appreciation for denying to have a dancing performance on Annual Day. Considering the moral corruption, this concern is graver than it usually appears. Why should anybody be dragged to obscenity against his or her will? We use banners to mislead our innocent boys and girls in the name of art and culture.
 On college days and annual days entice innocent and unstained souls, especially girls are often made to dance on stage. Dancing is not an approved practice in our society. We are simply pushing our young folk into a social hellfire of no return. We all must salute the courage of these females who preferred a dignified presence to a vulgar performance on the stage.
Dr Nuzhat
Fighting oppression
Dear Editor,
 This has reference to the news item "CRPF troopers face abuses, kicks and Azadi Slogans for 'brutality' beating civilian" (GK, December 07, 2007). This portrays the sad state of affairs prevailing in Kashmir. Such atrocities go against their slogans like and "Jawan aur Awam aman hai muqaam", "Sadhbawna" etc that Indian Army and others time and again boast of. The claims of decline in the human rights violations by our esteemed leaders also are quiet opposite to the actual ground situation prevailing here.
 Kashmiris are world over known for their innocence, modesty, simplicity and humbleness. As such the agitation over a paramilitary trooper's highhandedness with a civilian makes one understand that such handedness has gone beyond the bearable limit. It is important to note here that this particular incident took place in the heart of Srinagar city where media highlighted this issue. Countless atrocities taking place in our far flung areas go unreported and these atrocities are increasing every day because nobody questions the brutality of armed forces as it is has become a routine now.
 Security forces should understand that this way they can't restore normalcy here. If it continues, there are chances of mass protests and agitations all over the valley. After all it's the question of our dignity.
Shabir Ahmad Dar

Earthquake awareness
Dear Editor,
 This refers to the seminar organized by Kashmir University's International Resource Cell issuing warning of a major earthquake in Kashmir. Earthquakes can't be predicted but at the same knowing that we are in Zone V, we have to be always prepared. For the past 50 million years the Indian plate has been pushing up against the Erosion Plate resulting in the formation of the Himalayas and continues to shape the shifting and sharing towards the Tibet plateau. This has produced huge pressure by rubbing, colliding and sliding underneath and dissipation has resulted in earthquake which hit us in 2005. And some pressure underneath might release in the form of a future earthquake.
 So our main objective should be to minimize the loss of life and property by spreading knowledge about precautionary measures without creating panic among people. Retrofit building is an answer under such circumstances which just adds 4% of the construction cost while starting a building. Awareness has to be spread to masses to avoid cement concrete slabs as far as possible and utilize more wood in houses. Wall hanging should be kept firm besides hanging flower pots. Government should undertake mock drill exercises at densely populated areas. Preparing oneself in advance to meet future disasters is the need of the hour.
Haji Abdul Maid Butt
Elahi Bagh, Bucchpora, Srinagar

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