It was only once upon a time that Kashmir had pristine water bodies dotting its length and breadth. Srinagar was the capital city even in this sense.
With famous water bodies like Dal and Nageen, Srinagar would attract people from far and wide. But it was not just these two water bodies, srinagar had many more.
It was a complete network of waterbodies and it acted as the nervous system of this city. The water was pure and drinkable. The flora and fauna existed in and around these water bodies in a naturally healthy way. These water bodies also acted as natural drainage system.
But all that is gone now. Many conduits that would connect these water bodies are now extinct. Many small and medium scale water bodies are gradually disappearing.
The remaining are in such a pathetic condition that one fears these too might disappear permanently. The case of Brari Numbal is enough to explain the state of affairs in this regard.
All this must raise alarm bells. But it looks like that we have completely forgotten that these water bodies are crucial to our existence.
In a mad race to construct houses, and in a deeply problematic consumerist life style, we tend to violate our natural defences brazenly. It has cost us much, and it is going to cost us much more.
There is need that the government and the people get really serious about this, and go beyond rhetorical line or cosmetic schemes.
Though there have been a number of government initiatives to save some water bodies like Dal, Nageen and Wular, but we are yet to have a comprehensive plan that takes care of the entire system of water bodies found in and around the city of Srinagar.
We must remember that all these water bodies are interconnected and form one ecosystem. We cannot save one and let the other perish. If Dal has to be revived, it cannot happen in isolation.
It would take a comprehensive plan that takes care of all the water bodies and starts work on the restoration of all of them together.