By: Sameer Lone
Srinagar: From Khushalsar in Old city Srinagar to the Marsar lake sitting in the lap of mighty mountains in south Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir government has rolled out a 3.7 Cr ambitious proposal to restore the glory of lakes and other water bodies.
Most of the lakes in Jammu and Kashmir especially in Kashmir valley, have come under massive encroachments and pollution leaving the water bodies gasping for existence.
According to official sources, the J & K government has rolled out the Environmental Action Plan. In the first phase 19 lakes and water bodies will be cleaned,” they said.
The vital project envisages de-silting, de-weeding, strengthening embankments, and banning the disposal of waste into water bodies.
The experts have chosen thematic areas to revive the water bodies. Those include waste management plan, water quality management plan, domestic sewage management plan, industrial waste management plan, air quality management plan, mining activity management plan.
According to a report, 12 water bodies or lakes out of 19 have almost dried up and require a proper action plan to restore their glory.
For each water body, the authorities have identified the grave issues; like in the case of Hokersar wetland, the growth of weed, poor embankments are some of the major problems. The government has estimated a tentative cost of Rs 10 lakhs for restoring Hokersar wetland.
Similarly, around Rs 20 lakh have been earmarked for Marsar Lake. For Khushalsar and Gilsar, the administration has earmarked Rs 50 lakhs. As per the action plan, Rs one crore has been earmarked for Dal and Anchar lakes.
The action plan highlights problems of marshy land and silting in Baba Demb and Sarband reservoir for which Rs 50 lakhs and 30 lakhs have been earmarked respectively.
Rs 43.5 Lakhs have been earmarked for the restoration of 12 water bodies that include Sumbalar Tachi, Parinag Chhaterhama, Nishat Temple Nag, Checki Dara, Ishber Astan, Kachrinag Ishber, Ishber Kral Mohalla, Drang Mohalla Ishber, Paltan Gan Wadi, Zewan Payeen, Darnar Nag, Mokdam Mohalla Zewan.
For de-silting Mucharnag, Rs 5 lakhs have been estimated.
It may be recalled here that the work on Khushalsar has already started. The government in partnership with Nigeen Lake Conservation Organisation (NLCO), has taken up the massive drive to clean up the Khushalsar. The Khushalsar was in a highly deteriorated condition and has been encroached upon at many places with illegal constructions and landfilling.
Once stretched from Zoonimar up to the historic Aali Masjid, the lake has now significantly reduced.
The government in the plan has highlighted that the entire preservation and conservation cannot be done only at the administration level and requires public participation and behavioral changes to achieve the desired results.