Srinagar: The surface of the Dal Lake has been engulfed by red algal bloom, giving the lake a total reddish appearance.
The red algal bloom is a major indication of pollution inside the water body, according to experts.
Over the years, the quality of water in the lake has suffered due to rapid urbanization, agricultural activities, deforestation, siltation and municipal sewage, which help the red algae thrive.
Former professor at the SK University of Agricultural Science and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST) Shafiq-ur-Rehman, who had identified the specific species in 1991, told Kashmir Reader that draining of fertilisiers and nutrients into the lake was the major reason for its proliferation.
“The Dal receives large amount of nutrition from many sources whether through agriculture activates, golf courses, and other residents,” Rehman said.
He said the algae colour is green in the morning but after it gets high temperature from the sun, the colour of the bloom changes to brick-red.
“We are all aware not only about pollution level but that nutrient content has also gone up in the dal too. We need to identify the sources from where these nutrients are coming, after that we have to control them, that is the only way to stop appearance of the red algae in the Dal,” Rehman added.
An official of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) told Kashmir Reader that it was trying to completely wipe out the weeds and lily pads from Dal Lake.
“Currently our team is busy in aeration of the lake water so that the red algae bloom disappears. This red algae bloom will disappear only when water doesn’t receive any nutrition, till then every year it will come, and every year we use aeration procedure, what else can we do,” said Raman Upal Executive Engineer of LAWDA.
He added that for de-weeding they were employing only manual procedure “as we don’t have any machine for de-weeding process”.