According to a report published in Rising Kashmir, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority failed to spend Rs 16 crore that was allotted by the government two years ago to restore Brari Nambal, a wetland in the centre of state capital Srinagar. As per the report, the funds were approved for the conservation and beautification of Brari Nambal in State Annual Action Plan under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) in August 2017. The authorities in their defense said some contractors were not working as expected for which even payments to them have been stopped. Baba Demb is not more than three kilometers from the heart of the city and commercial hub, Lal Chowk. Yet, this wetland is in such a state that people can’t stand for few minutes during a stopover here. More so in summer months when the stench travels far and wide causing great discomfort to hundreds of residents living in nearby areas like Khanyar, Khayam, Barbar Shah, Chinkral Mohalla. The residents of some of these localities allege that authorities are more concerned about superficial beautification of Brari Nambal and waste lot of money on facelift and its makeover. Turned into a stinking and murky bog, Brari Nambal used to be an offshoot of Dal and featured backwater channel, also inhabited by the people (people living close to the nambal or marshes). However, it has become impossible today for people to live near the murky marshland. The government did allot the money for the conservation of the marshland, but did it try to monitor the exercise and see to it that not just cosmetic changes but action to clean the bogs is made? Brari Nambal or Baba Demb has suffered a lot in the last couple of decades due to the apathy of successive governments that failed to stop the site from being turned into one large repelling drain. It became a major dumping site as tonnes of garbage and waste from homes was disposed of here. A section of people are of the opinion that Brari Nambal could not be restored to its former state because it has been cut off from a continuous inland waterway. The efforts in the last few years have been more on controlling the pollution at the site, including the suggestion of having sewage treatment plants near this wetland. Apparently there is least interest shown towards connecting the wetlands or water bodies to maintain their health and get rid of the pollution. If roads can be widened, highways can be built, why can’t an inland waterway be replenished?