Dying Water Bodies

Dying Water Bodies

It is a statement of the obvious to assert that all forms of life depend on water for physical and physiological sustenance. Across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, water scarcity is developing, in different permutations and combinations and with varying velocities. But, even though Kashmir is no exception to this global and regional trend, we are still blessed with an abundance of water, in relative terms. However, water bodies in the valley of Kashmir are facing a threat of almost an existential sort. The question is why? The answer, in the main lies, in the quotidian assaults by the denizens of Kashmir on these water bodies. The nature of this assault is multi pronged: it varies from dumping of waste(n which includes human excrement) into lakes and rivers, the denudation of forests, filling of water bodies with silt, warped and flawed urbanization, poorly designed and executed public policies and so on. While these are forms of abuse of our water bodies, the blame squarely rests on us. If the same drift continues, the day might not be far off when Kashmir could even morph into a mountainous desert valley. It therefore is incumbent upon us to review our approach and attitude toward the environment and our ecology, especially water bodies. A lot can change if we do this and not merely preserve our water bodies but also do our best to enhance their condition. This would have allied and assorted benefits in the form of maintaining the pristine beauty of Kashmir which, among other things, is a draw for tourists around the world and a source of livelihood for a large segment of our society. Primarily, what is needed is a review of our attitudes toward our environment. This can perhaps only happen when we see it and our ecology as extension of our selves and a trust that we hold. Kashmir is beautiful and defined by picturesque and arresting beauty which is a gift from the Almighty. So, we must the whole saga in these terms and do our best to preserve and enhance our environment and ecology. This will, besides maintaining the region’s natural beauty also make it hospitable for life and living. It is about time then that we gird our loins and do our best to safeguard Kashmir’s water bodies and its ecology. Tomorrow might be too late.