Save Hygam Wetland from Extinction

Drastic steps needed for conservation and restoration of the important wetland
"Because of its bad shape, even migratory birds no more arrive in large number at the wetland for winter months."
"Because of its bad shape, even migratory birds no more arrive in large number at the wetland for winter months."Special arrangement

If immediate, and drastic, steps are not taken, Kashmir may soon lose the important wetland at Hygam. Due to government apathy, and greed of some people, the wetland is on the verge of extinction.

Reports say that the wetland has been largely encroached upon and converted into paddy fields. The old waterways flowing into the wetland have been blocked. Siltation and pollution is killing it.

Because of its bad shape, even migratory birds no more arrive in large number at the wetland for winter months. Being a Ramsar Site, Hygam wetland is of international importance.

It should have got extra-ordinary attention at official level but it has not. The results are very much evident. We are losing it with every passing day. Despite having gifted with so many beautiful wetlands, Kashmir has been unable to protect its environmental assets.

The wetlands have witnessed an onslaught by the encroachers. The lack of measures at government level for their conservation have further worsened the scenario.

While at several places, due to public pressure the government acted and was able to save these wetlands from further encroachment but at Hygam the scene is different.

The feeble and half hearted efforts for public consumption would not do. The government must take the issue seriously and do everything possible for the restoration of the glory of the wetland. There are suggestions from various environment and other experts for the purpose.

These suggestions should be considered and those worth implementation implemented. The wetland must be completely freed from encroachment. All steps should be taken to save it from siltation and pollution.

Those living near the wetland must understand that they should not destroy the environmental gift for their vested interests.

These wetlands, which are home to thousands of migratory birds, fish and other species are to be preserved and not damaged. The government must act tough against those responsible for damaging the wetlands.

Both short term and long term measures should be taken not only to protect the Hygam wetland from further deterioration but to restore it to past condition. For that the encroached area must be identified and the encroachment ended.

Awareness campaigns must be run in the neighbouring areas to educate people particularly youth about the importance of environmental assets like wetlands and encourage them in preserving the wetland.

Without their active participation the measures at government level cannot be that effective.

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