Wetlands not wastelands: Div Com Kashmir

Srinagar: Wetlands not wasteland, wetlands are natural wealth lands wrote Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole on a pledge wall to save and protect Hokersar wetland and send a loud and clear message about preservation and protection of all wetlands.

Kashmir has a chain of wetlands supporting vast biodiversity most of which circumvent Srinagar and Budgam with huge potential of tourism and employment generation said Div Com while visiting Hokersar wetland on the occasion of World Wetlands Day celebrated by the Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K.

Besides, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, the Pledge wall was signed by Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir; Officers of Deptt of Wildlife Protection, president, NPWWF, NGO; Wetland Mitras and civil society members.

Div Com underlined the responsibility of people for the protection of wetlands and said that encroachments shall be dealt with strict action.

He said wetlands are biological hot spots and play pivotal role in the conservation of nature. “Our wetlands attract aves from Siberia and other cold places which presents beautiful view for bird lovers”, Pole said.

Government has prepared a detailed plan to promote wetlands including Wular, Hokersar, Hygam, Shalbugh and other places, he said. Meanwhile, he appealed people residing on the banks of wetlands not to treat wetlands as wastelands but get involved in protection of these natural resources. Instead, he asked them to create watch towers which would attract tourists and generate income for them.

Pole informed that Hokersar wetland used to have low water level but efforts have been made to increase the water level and further added that Irrigation and Flood Control Department will raise the water level which would be instrumental to attract more birds as well as tourists.

Div Com said that Wildlife Department is creating awareness and training the people residing around wetlands to create legally permissible tourism infrastructure of watch towers on their own land to earn livelihood.

While speaking with the media regarding the action taken by government for conservation and restoration of wetlands, he said that last year Khushalsar and Gilsar were taken for restoration and today more than seventy percent area have been restored.

He said restoration of other wetlands and water channels will be taken soon and results will be visible on ground.

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