Shrinking waters , cover story 21 November 2022

Shrinking waters 

News Kashmir Exclusive 

Waterbodies are important source of water. As we all know water is life. It is the limited number of water bodies that provide water for drinking , as ocean and sea water can’t be used due to its saline nature.

Kashmir valley was once the hub of water bodies. Ponds, Lakes, Rivers have formed the important part of topography of Jammu and Kashmir along with scores of wetlands. 

The encroachments of these waterbodies by the selfish interests among common people and the ineffective attitude of successive Governments have devastated these waterbodies. 

It is matter of great misfortune that Most of the well-known lakes in Kashmir have been deteriorating in the past few years. As a matter of grim worry some of the once renowned water bodies are breathing their last and are craving for attention from the concerned stakeholders. The dilapidated condition of once renowned lake of Kashmir-Anchar Lake is the prime example in this regard. On account of human lust and lazy attitude of government this lake is breathing its last.

Even the all important Dal Lake is also not much in good health despite number of efforts from the government in this regard.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha recently sought a comparative analysis report on encroachment of water bodies using latest and earlier data.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that addressing a convention of GIS professionals, government officials, entrepreneurs and young students that was organised to mark the World GIS Day here, the LG highlighted the significance of the emerging GIS technology to address new challenges and explore a new horizon of opportunities.

He said the encouragement to spatial thinking, development of new Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, and real-world applications are accelerating the growth in business, government and society.

Pollution is also hitting hard our waterbodies. Pollution in Dal lake began more than four decades ago  due to the growing number of tourists resulting in increased commercialization of the place with the establishment of many hotels and houseboats. Thus, the amount of waste generated began to rise and new sewage lines were also developed. The untreated sewage since then has been released into the lake, causing pollution. in a span of over two decades, the lake has shrunk by more than half to just 11 square kilometres and lost over 10 meters of depth.

The resolve of LG Manoj Sinha with reference to saving water bodies of Kashmir is an appreciable step that should be welcomed by one and all. Sane voices hope that lost glory of water bodies in Kashmir would be regained .