Carpet of algae over Dal Lake

Carpet of algae over Dal Lake

Srinagar: Algae has engulfed the surface of the Dal Lake, and this algae changes colour like a chameleon from green to red as the temperature rises during the day.
Now, with the lake showing such tell-tale signs of neglect, the LAWDA has started excavation of weeds in the lake.
As per officials at LAWDA, the two-kilometer stretch from the Dal to Nishat Pipeline Bund is always the worst hit by the red algal bloom during summer.
High temperatures increase the growth of red algae which feed off the nutrient content in the lake. The colour of the bloom is green in the morning but when the sun shines on the lake during the day, the colour changes to a brick-red.
In recent years, the quality of Dal Lake’s water has degraded due to pollution, siltation and municipal sewage, which has quickened and spread the growth of red algae.
An official at LAWDA told Kashmir Reader that along with excavation of weeds, they are trying to increase the depth of the lake. “It will help curb the growth of red algae which engulf
the whole water body. We are doing it manually as it will be more effective in extracting the unwanted weeds,” he said.
He further said that they are trying to increase the depth of the lake by a meter. The excavation of weeds has to be carried out in nearly 15,000 cubic meters in the Dal, he said.
Tufail Mattoo, Vice Chairman LAWDA, said there are two ways to curb the surfacing of algal blooms – by the use of aerators and by the stirring of water by movement of motorboats.
“Due to the increase in temperatures, it has just started. The bloom will last for 10-15 days. As a short-term measure, LAWDA will use aerators and motorboats to clear it,” he said.
For long-term measures, he said, the authority will start work during the winter months.

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