It is “jihad” of a different nature in Kashmir. A minister has taken up cudgels to save the Dal lake in Srinagar from encroachers and pollution. The world famous lake is gasping for survival and has shrunk to more than half its original size of 22 sq. kms in the past 30 years.
In a stern directive, finance, state housing and urban development minister Tariq Hameed Karra has asked officials of the Lake and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to act fast and save the lake or face action.
The Dal lake, which mirrors the Zabarvan hills and is a major tourist attraction of Kashmir, especially for those who love staying in houseboats, is slowly decaying. Its waters are stinking and its size has been shrinking. Environmentalists fear this bounty of nature might soon turn into a marshland.
Voicing deep anguish over the slow pace of the conservation of the lake by the LAWDA, Karra has asked officials of LAWDA to revamp their system of cleaning up the lake.
The minister was dismayed with the research wing of LAWDA, which has not thought of any concrete plan to arrest the growth of azola in the lake so far. He has asked the authority to avail the assistance of the research wings of different universities of the state.
“I want results. I don’t want the lake to vanish because of the non-performance of babus. We are under obligation to save the lake and other water bodies for the present and the future generations. Our heritage is going waste,” he said at a board of directors’ meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Water Ways Development Authority on Tuesday.
He has asked them to go in for modern machines to speed the de-weeding process and clean up the water.