(Dr. Abdul Majeed Kak, 64, was born and in Nowhatta, Srinagar. He received his primary education from the Government Middle School in Nowhatta and his secondary school education from Bagi Dilawar Khan Higher Secondary School in Fateh Kadal. He completed his college education at the Islamia College of Science and Commerce in Srinagar. In 1977 he was the first candidate from the University of Kashmir to be selected by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of the Government of India for a doctoral research scholarship at the university leading to a Ph.D. in Botany in 1980. He is currently the Research Coordinator in the Department of Botany at the Islamia College of Science and Commerce in Srinagar. Dr. Kak has over 35 years of teaching experience and research experience of over 25 years. He has received numerous research awards resulting in publication of 70 research papers and has authored two books on Botany. He is presently engaged in promoting and strengthening local and regional museums, a project supported by a grant from the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi.)
Diminishing Fresh Water Lakes in Kashmir
Nothing is hidden about J&K State regarding the corruption, immorality of both by the Governance as well by masses. We crossed all limits of humanity and are egotists and furthering away day by day from spirituality as well as religious belief and are leading towards beastliness. Still everything here is normal, peaceful and well managed, amongst the society of deaf, dumb and blinds. Conveying a good message or showing a right path to somebody in today’s educated society is like baying and the people shut ears unwilling to looking at him, considering him a frantic person. How can an individual survive in this society until and unless he too mingles with its dirty customs, which is impossible….
Why people are only after Dal and Nigeen, have you, being a Kashmiri, forgotten “Veth” or Nala Mar such a peaceful, picturesque, where our fathers and forefather used to spend on their uneven banks, their leisure hours peacefully. It was feeding the total population of city inhabiting on both its flanks by its crystal clear water, ration supply was distributed on its ghats and was the only enchanting means of transportation etc. Have a glance on Kashmir History, all the magnificent thrones of our ancient kings were built on its banks. Now all its wide banks are no more and are grabbed. People are squeezing its throat by both hands and once such a wide natural fresh crystal clear water river is suffocating and taking its last breath. All effluents, kitchen and other solids wastes of whole city are directly flowing in it. Surprisingly public privy can be seen all along its route. Our fore fathers protected it for this generation and what we protected for our posterity. Nallah Mar is no more, it is extinct. It is changed to metallic road even its name has been altered as Circular road.
We never talked about Wular Lake, one of the Asia’s largest freshwater Lake, a vast and important source of our food. More than 6 -700 quintals of water nuts; 1 – 200 quintals of Nudru (drum sticks) and 6 -700 quintals of fish are harvested yearly from this water body and is historically famous that in the Famine of 1757-58 it has saved the life of half the population of Kashmir by because of its water nuts. My recent visit to this lake has startled me particularly when I desired to have an aerial look and take photographs from the highest peak of Baba Shukur Din Sahib. Once such a vast lake is reduced to its half, some new villages have come to existence and the older ones have extended much further. Water level is reduced to such an extent that the fishermen have to row not less than half a km from the shore or some times more to get a catch. Position of lake some 2 decades before is totally incomparable. Wular Lake is as Ramsar site, the state government has created a separate “Wular Lake Authority” for its conservation. Rs.120 Cr. has already been sanctioned by the central Government for its restoration. Two days before i.e. on 7th of December Wular conservation and management action plant was inaugurated by state government at Sadurkote Payeen pledging to conserve all assets of this world famous lake. State government has already formulated a comprehensive action plan of Rs. 386 Cr. for its conservation and management that will be utilized for a period of five years. Let us watch how much money will be spent honestly for its conservation and management, and hope that it will not go into the pockets of authorities as happened to the case of Dal Lake. The main flaw what I personally feel is that Government is kept ignorant about the role of Scientists which these authorities are lacking. A simple example can be cited, when the Honorable High court ordered for the felling of the trees in the Dal Lake, no scientist was consulted how to tackle the problem. Everything was manipulated by the Engineering wing of Lake Authority. Trees were stumped, mostly above the water level, instead of a single stem number of off shoots sprouted next year that added a lot many vows to the lake. We kept shouting but nobody paid any heed.
Anchar Lake is declared dead lake; nobody bothers or even talks about it. Once such a magnificent lake sustained thousands of locals with its produce; has been grabbed from all its corners and even in the centre. The lake is reduced even to its quarter size, a small wetland like. Salix triandra (a willow) is cultivated abundantly, that supports our wicker industry. Anchar Lake was once pouring into the Khushhal Sar, one of the largest wetlands is now totally extinct.
One really yells when visiting Nilnag, a majestic natural alpine lake and a gift of God has been ruined by the unknown cruel hands of some engineers and contractors. Lake is converted into a concrete tank, all natural flora and fauna has vanished.
Lake Manasbal to some extent was untouched till last year; Now Manasbal Lake authority has started pouring its dirty hands in it. Introduction of house boats and other water crafts for visitors’ attraction will in no time transform it like the Dal Lake.
Clear indication is that we are losing all our fresh water bodies uncontrollably. Stern actions are needed to be taken against the culprits indulged in land grabbing, construction of illegal luxury hotels and who do not abide by the prohibitory orders put forth by the Government or by the High Court, even if it may be the official of higher rank or a politician.