Resting along the Wular Lake and separated by a tree line, the humming sound of dredgers pierce through Saderoot village.
The higher terrains of this village give an enchanting look of the vast expanse of the lake now being restored by the Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) working on it since 2012.
Though the conservation works have recently begun taking shape after several years, the village elevated to the status of “tourist village” in 2012 has only witnessed desolation instead of development promised by the successive governments.
Despite having a tourist significance as the village serves as an access route to the man-made Island of Zainalank in the middle of the Wular, besides being an ideal location for commuters travelling on Srinagar-Bandipora road, is the only indication that Saderkoot was once projected as a tourist village as an uprooted signboard covered in dirt greets the visitors as if mocking at the villagers.
Inside the village, the lack of basic amenities and absence of development stares at one’s face.
A villager, Farooq Ahmad Dar, 52, says, “After announcing Saderkoot as a tourist village, hoardings were erected but no work was initiated on the ground and the village continues to grapple for even basic amenities.”
With WUCMA dredging the lake, the villagers said that many areas in the village had turned into cesspools while lake water was seeping into their properties as the surface level had become uneven due to dredging.
“The Wular conservation project and projecting the village as a tourist village had brought no development to Saderkoot,” said Abdul Samad, a Saderkoot resident.
With hopes of being developed as a ‘tourist village’ now faded, the Saderkoot villagers have urged the government to provide them with basic amenities and clear the village of the mess resulting from dredging of Wular?