Weed proliferation defaces parts of Dal Lake

Weeds have proliferated and engulfed large area of Dal Lake along near Nishat Bund and Foreshore Road, affecting the aesthetic beauty of the water body and posing threat to fauna and flora.

“It is disappointing to see world famous Dal Lake filled with weeds these days. Authorities must take measures on priority to maintain natural beauty of the lake,” said Muhammad Shafi, a visitor to Nishat Garden.

He said it seems no men or machines have been pressed into service all these months to carry out the de-weeding.

Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), entrusted with Dal conservation carry out the de-weeding either through machines or manually.

Some people argue that the manual de-weeding was effective. Muhammad Abdullah, a resident of Hazratbal said despite receiving funding from different agencies for conservation of the lake, no concrete measure has been taken to restore the past glory of the water body.

“They (LAWDA) have been receiving special funds to revive beauty of the lake. They should take special measures to clean this lake,” said Muhammad Abdulla, a resident of Hazratbal.

Dal dwellers said presence of large number of weeds has also affected the population o fish. “The fish population in the lake has been receding every year,” said Afshan.

He said the weeds have also affected the movement of Shikaras. “You will not have easy access to several portions of the lake as the weeds affects the movement of Shikaras,” Afshan said.

Dal receives water from Tarsar Marsar, a glacial oligotrophic alpine lake through two main sub-watersheds namely Dhara Danihama and Dachigam.

Before reaching the lake, the waters pass through denuded mountains carrying tons of silt and nutrients with it. This propels the growth of weeds. Annually, over one lakh cubic meters of weeds are removed from the lake.

Chairman LAWDA Tufail Mattu said the de-weeding was going on in the lake. “We took measures for de-weeding during COVID19 lockdown also,” he said.

He said lake has been divided into 39 sections for de-weeding purpose. “There are two types of weeds. One is normal weed and another is lily weed. Lily pad cab is largely seen at Kabootar Khana side,” he said.

He said the weeds spread like wildfire. “Once it spreads, everybody gets impression lake is dead. The fact remains lily weed remains till the temperature goes down,” he said.

He said Hazratbal basin was also de-weeded some weeks ago and the process will resume again shortly. He said several types of machines were pressed for de-weeding. “A committee of experts has recommended machinery which would reach to us by the end of July. We expect to press them into services in first week of August,” he said.