SRINAGAR: The Gilsar Lake in Nowshera area of Srinagar is dying every passing day, while as water channels connected with the lake have not been cleaned for the last nine years by Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) department.
Residents said that some nine years ago, LAWDA used machines to clean the silt from the water body but since then has turned off the attention from it.
The outflow channels from the lake, which pass through residential areas, emanate foul smell much to the annoyance of residents.
The channels are blocked at many places with garbage and carcasses of animals, making it a health hazard.
Locals say that the lake was once a tourist attraction, but now even the locals want to keep away from it, given the state it is in.
The government’s claims of conserving and developing water bodies fall flat by the sight of Glisar lake.
“At the ground level nothing is being done, only in documents and nothing beyond that,” said Farhan Kitab a local resident of the area.
Another local resident, Abdul Gani told Kashmir Reader that LAWDA is in deep slumber and are not spending a single penny on the lake.
“If the lake is cleaned, it will add beauty to the area and the land under encroachment would be used to increase its width,” he said.
“Many times we visit the officials, and despite assurances from the government nothing was done for the area and was always neglected by the governments,” he added.
An official from the department said that financial constraints were an impediment in maintaining and cleaning of water channels.
LAWDA itself is under financial crunch, he said, and the “meagre funds” are utilized “here and there” so the department has failed to conserve the natural lakes of Kashmir for which the department was established.
He said that LAWDA is banking on the government for financial help “so that these issues could be resolved as soon as possible”.
However, another senior official at LAWDA, wishing not to be named, said that there is no conservation programme for Gilsar Lake, “but we have sent a Detailed Project Report(DPR) to the government, but so far the government has not approved the project”.
He also added that the government doesn’t have enough funds for the water body because “LAWDA is already facing financial problems.”