Save the Dal

Save the Dal

The Dal Lake, which is not only the pride and among the Unique Selling Points(USP’s) of Kashmir but also part of its ecological ecosystem continues to face apathy and neglect in various forms, permutations and combinations. If the drift continues as it is, the day might not be far off when our famed and necessary lake fades into oblivion. This is not an alarmist scenario but one premised on facts. Now, among other structural issues, it appears to be a matter of funding. Lately, the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) claims to have already submitted a proposal to upgrade the STP technology but due to lack of funds the much-needed upgrade is being delayed. It may be pointed out that the administration had announced that the three STPs which were installed in 2006 and were based on the old Fluidized Aerobic Bio-reactor (FAB) technology at Nishat, Habak and Babademb, would be upgraded to improve the pollution checking mechanisms. Since then, the administration has been unable to translate words into action while millions of litres of semi-treated sewage are being discharged into the lake. This constitutes a travesty given that the future of the lake is at stake. The STP technology, in contention, would have given a major fillip to checking pollution in and of the lake. In terms of the general pollution of the lake, there are certain issues that cannot perhaps be contained because of legacy and structural issues. But, in this day and age, where technology is embedded into even the entrails of life, so to speak, it is but natural to employ technology premises techniques and solutions to save Dal lake. To take recourse to speculation, it may be that it is not actually a matter of paucity of funds that is precluding technological solutions but is a matter of lack of will. As they say, “ where there is a will, there is a way”. And, if the administration does not have the requisite financial resources, there are umpteen global organizations devoted to global public good specializing in preventing damage to natural resources that could be asked for both financial and technical assistance. The Dal Lake, besides being a natural resource, is also part of our heritage and even culture. If it dries up and fades into oblivion, it will be a telling reminder of how badly we treat either. So, for the sake of the lake itself and for other important but assorted reasons, it becomes important to do whatever it takes to save it, the sooner the better!