<p style="font-weight: 400;">The pollution and gradual shrinking of Dal Lake has been a cause of concern for Kashmiris. Restoring the lake to its past glory may be impossible now, but we must salvage as much of it as possible. This cannot be done only by
Post by on Thursday, August 13, 2020
The pollution and gradual shrinking of Dal Lake has been a cause of concern for Kashmiris. Restoring the lake to its past glory may be impossible now, but we must salvage as much of it as possible. This cannot be done only by commissioning expensive machines for cleaning the lake. There is a dire need to stem further pollution of the world famous water body by taking measures like upgradation of drainage and sewerage system, removal of encroachments in and around the lake and rehabilitation of Dal dwellers as soon as possible. A committee formed by the government to look into the deterioration of Dal few years back had concluded that lack of coordination between government three departments is affecting the health of the lake. With no coordination among the departments regarding bifurcation of sewerage and drainage system the effectiveness of the cleaning operations remained severely affected. The committee also pointed to lack of coordination between departments in dealing with financial matters regarding the Dal works due to which bulk of money released for the purpose was wasted. Owing to official callousness and mismanagement, rampant encroachment and subsequent pollution of Dal went unchecked for years. Lack of political will to restore the lake also gave the encroachers free hand. Though a lot of money has been released for its cleaning and conservation operations, the efforts have gone in vain due to the lack of effective coordination between the concerned agencies. This has also been pointed out by experts. The committee had also suggested formation of a separate ministry for conservation of water bodies besides recommending involvement of foreign consultants. Though these recommendations are worth consideration, but given the past experience, one cannot expect much from the outside assistance unless it is coupled with substantial efforts at the local level. Restoration of Dal has become a daunting task owing to the plethora of challenges which have emerged over the years like rehabilitation of the thousands of families living in the interiors of the lake. Corrupt practices of officials and apathetic attitude of successive governments has led to deterioration of Dal to such an extent that it is looking difficult to even salvage a part of it. In the last-ditch effort to save the lake from extinction the concerned agencies will have to coordinate their work. The government on its part needs to ensure proper utilization of the funds. Dal is an asset bestowed by nature without which Kashmir is incomplete. Human intervention has pushed it to the brink of extinction. And it is human intervention alone which can save it for posterity.