Weeds engulf, deface parts of Dal Lake

Weeds have engulfed many areas of Dal Lake here with people blaming the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) of failing to undertake effective de-weeding operations.

These weeds have proliferated and engulfed large stretch of the water body from Nishat to Hazratbal, Nishat Bund, Foreshore Road, defacing the lake and affecting the aesthetic beauty of the water body.

“It is disappointing to see world famous Lake engulfed by weeds these days. Authorities must take measures on priority to maintain the natural beauty of the lake,” said Altaf Ahmad, a local.

He said it seems no men or machines have been pressed into service all these months to carry out the de-weeding of the water body. LAWDA, entrusted with Dal conservation, carry out the de-weeding either through machines or manually.

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.

Javaid Ahmad, a local of Nishat said 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,” he said.

The unattended weeds are resulting in multiplication. “LAWDA gets funds and other facilities for conservation of this heritage lake. They receive special funds to revive its beauty. They have failed to perform on ground,” said a group of visitors at Hazratbal while pointing towards a portion of the lake engulfed by weeds.

The lake 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.

Vice Chairman LAWDA Tufail Mattu said the de-weeding was going on in the lake. “Due to high temperature, the weeds grow at fast pace. The process of de-weeding is going on,” he said.

He said the main focus was given to Nehru Park and adjacent areas as the LAWDA has less machinery as of now. “New machines are being brought purchased that would help to de-weed the lake at good pace,” he said.