Srinagar: Already endangered by untreated effluents and encroachments, the Dal Lake got an added share of pollutants last week, with people dumping sheepskin and offal into the lake and its backwaters on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.
The sheepskins, that were considered valuable a few years back and had many takers, became a liability this year because of drastic drop in the demand and prices.
The sheepskins and offal can be seen floating in the backwaters of Dal at many places including Rainawari channel, Nowpora Channel, Nalla Amir Khan, Brari Numbal Lagoon, exhibiting the callousness of people towards the environment.
“Both government and people have to think about it, there is no doubt Dal get polluted with each passing day. It has reduced so much. Government has to take serious steps to ensure that Dal Lake is preserved or time will come it will become history,” said Mohammad Furkaan, a resident of Saida Kadal.
After the Eid, Furkaan said, the lake stinking badly at many places. “There is bad smell and it affects our health. We approached authority to clean it, so that we take a sign of relief but they did not clean,” he said
“People too have to play an important role. Basically we lack civil sense, people already throw bottles, wrappers and now they dumped these things and make it more polluted.”
The lake is already under tremendous pressure because of untreated effluents discharged into it, and encroachment at many places.
“The flora and fauna that once thrived in the lake has been destroyed and the lake is now infested with weeds. The water here has been contaminated due to direct dumping of sewage and waste material in the lake from human settlements and more importantly government has turned blind eye to massive ongoing encroachment,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Rainwari.
Public Relation Officer, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Malik Tariq told Kashmir Reader that they have pressed men and machinery into service and “removed these wastes from the most area of the lake”.
“A few volunteers also joined the campaign and removed quintals of such wastes from the lake body,” Tariq said.
He also appealed people to not litter the lake.
“It is our collective responsibility to save the lake,” he said.