Srinagar, June 28, : Lakes and Waterway Development Authority has miserably failed to enlighten tourists as well as common people about the ill effects of plastics as ‘irresponsible’ people passing time on the banks of world famed Dal Lake here in Kashmir Capital Srinagar could be seen throwing plastic bottles and polythene into the lake.
Known as the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir and Srinagar’s Jewel, Dal Lake is the most important landmark of Srinagar. It figures high on tourist itineraries and every tourist to the Kashmir valley makes it a point to visit the water body.
If witnesses are to be believed even, street-side vendors, tea and coffee sellers, shop keepers and traders dump their garbage into the lake before winding up their business during night hours.
“Visitors seem to have no knowledge of the importance of ecology and impact of plastics on Dal Lake. Ironically, majority of the visitors mostly youth are educated ones who can give you long speeches over the importance of preservation of this important water body. We can’t blame Tourism Department and LAWDA only, as people ought to understand the implications of polluted Dal,” said an Environmentalist to CNS.
Reports said that during the two days of Eid-ul-Fitar, tons of plastic materials were dumped into the Dal Lake by the visitors. Environmental lovers were fumed at the irresponsible and callous attitude of the visitors. Some took to social media to give vent to their frustration. Senior Journalist and social activist Shuja Ul Haq posted a ‘disturbing’ photograph showing the presence of plastic materials into the Dal Lake. He wrote on his facebook wall: “Even the apes from Darwin’s theory must be angry today, looking at what they have made. I protest against this abuse of my Dal lake. Who else does?”
Covering an area of 18 sq km, the Dal Lake is part of a natural wetland that covers an area of about 21 sq km which includes floating gardens.
It’s beauty has attracted filmmakers and over 20 films have been shot in and around the famous water body. Mainstream Hindi films like, Junglee, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Kashmir Ki Kali, Jaanwar, Lamhaa, Yahaan, Mission Kashmir, Dil Se, Kabhi Kabhi, Rockstar and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani were shot or have scenes in which Dal Lake forms the backdrop.
“There are two thing that mar Dal Lake-illegal constructions and pollution. LAWDA is responsible for the mess. Even Court directions that prop up from time to time for the restoration of the pristine glory of this Lake are not being implemented. There is no accountability,” said Rafiq Ahmed who runs an NGO here in Srinagar.
2015 Kashmir Despatch