Div Com seeks report from DCs of Baramulla, Bandipora
By: Sameer Lone
Srinagar: National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a strong notice over the appalling condition of the Kashmir Valley’s largest lake, Wular Lake, which is facing serious threat due to encroachments.
Situated in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, the lake is under constant threat as the water body has lost around 640 kanals of land to encroachers.
According to official sources, 640 kanals of land has come under direct encroachment out of which an approximate area of 90 kanals of the land has been encroached at the outer parameters of the lake, which was earlier used for paddy cultivation.
The concern is that earlier the encroached land was mostly used for growing willows and paddy farming, but constructions have started coming up on the encroached land.
The massive encroachment has led to the decline in the fish population and quality of the water that has affected the health of the lake.
As per a document, the Divisional administration has noticed that a major portion of the lake was encroached.
Only 10 kanals of the encroachment have been removed out of the 90 kanals on the outer parameters of the lake, sources revealed.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a strong note on the appalling condition of the lake, especially the unscientific dumping of waste and encroachment around Wular Lake.
The NGT has sought an action plan from the Jammu and Kashmir government for each of the wetlands for further action in a time bound manner.
Sources added that the Divisional administration ordered the survey of the land under encroachment whether residential or non-residential.
The Wular Lake has a maximum depth of 5.8 metres and covers an area 130 sq kms and is spread over two districts of North Kashmir, Bandipora and Baramulla.
The lake provides 60% of the Valley’s fish produce and is home to lakhs of local and migratory bird species.
Known for water chestnuts and lotus stems, the lake is the lifeline of the around two dozen villages surrounding it. It was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.