Another study on the effects of high pesticide use within and the peripheries of the Dal Lake has put forth glaring examples of its impact on the life of the people in Kashmir as people continue to
consume the fruits and vegetable species that are extracted from the lake.
Though the findings are still at a nascent stage, as has been pointed out by one of the premier health institutions, which conducted the study.
Srinagar’s famous Dal Lake is dying. This statement needs no assertion as another study conducted by the Department of Botany in Kashmir University has also pointed out to increased pollution of the lake caused by the increasing intake of fertilizers and pesticides from surrounding paddy fields and orchards.
The study also points out that the Dal lake will cease to exist after six or seven decades, given the amount of siltation it witnesses every year and the ever increasing pollution.
The Dal Lake, spanning an area of eight kilometres from north to south and 3.5 kilometres east to west, is in imminent danger of being transformed into a swampy marshland. The botanical study, financed jointly by the University Grants Commission and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, warns that “if the present state of affairs continues, the lakes will be lost within the next seven decades and what remains will be a small spring in the lakes surrounded by vegetable farms and swamps.
What is worrying to scientist is the lake is infested with weeds the growth of which has caused irreparable damage; and together with this, the expanding tourist traffic to Srinagar has been causing concern since the early ’60s when the disturbances in the ecological balance of the city and its lakes first became noticeable.
The Dal lake’s worsening condition has now alarmed the state and to evaluate strategies for scientific usage of the extracted weeds/lily biomass from Dal Lake, the SKAUST Kashmir and J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) have initiated collaborated efforts and constituted a committee to undertake a comprehensive study for assessment of pesticide residues in the Dal-Nigeen Lake.
The research which should have otherwise been carried out much earlier should be made to work in a time bound manner. The scholars and the technical team of experts should also try to focus its attention on first carrying out a preliminary survey for identifying various pesticides used by the farmers within lake as well as in peripheries, secondly, a comprehensive study for assessment of pesticides and its impact on human health and converting of extracted weed/lily biomass into compost should be taken up.
The study needs to be a vision document and to ensure this it should be carried out with clear objectives and identified with specific timelines.