Dal Lake is the center of attraction for not only the tourists but for the people of Kashmir as well. The cultural heritage of the Dal can’t be ignored and its conservation should have been important place in the planning strategy of Government, but Alas! it has never been taken seriously. LAWDA has almost failed; all the money has been wasted that was used to conserve the famous water body. Perhaphs the authorities might not be knowing where the money has gone. I am sure that if the money utilized on the Dal by LAWDA should have been given solely to any private organization, they might have cleaned the Dal to satisfactory level. The eutropication level of Dal might have in reduced to great extent and the dredging might have been completed in a shortest period of time. The stinky foul smell of the Dal that is pinching to the people who visit Dal may have different aroma.
Who will save the Dal, when the Government of J&K have totally failed and they never bothered to conserve it. The policies and strategies that were made over the decades to conserve the Dal have not worked and if it would have been the case, the Dal could have been in different shape. The scientific research that has been conducted in the University of Kashmir, Other Universities in India and SKAUST had not helped in the conservation of this vulnerable water body. Government is not serious, LAWDA has taken it for granted and researchers used it just to get their degrees or to get grant from different organizations. Calculate the money that has been used to conserve Dal by LAWDA, the money received by various academicians in Kashmir University and SKAUST for the projects and the amount received by NGO’s who claimed to clean Dal. The amount could have made the water of Dal crystal clear and with proud and dignity, our Dal might have become the example for others.
Where is the lacuna? Perhaps the LAWDA, CORD, SKAUST will give the best answers. They will tell us where the money has gone. But I have different opinion. The amount that was sanctioned to conserve Dal has not been properly used for the same. The research that was conducted or the theories that were put forth by the researchers either totally failed or they were not based on solid scientific calculations. The NGO’s did it for their benefit, and just for the familiarity. This is where the Government and LAWDA have to act, ponder, rethink and then need to come up with a proposal that will not have these lacunas. This is bitter truth and this reality can’t be under estimated. If these organizations will ignore this fact, remember, very soon, the Dal will disappear from the map of water resources of Kashmir, tourist attractions of Kashmir, cultural heritage of valley and with this we will lose what we are proud of. The economy, the GDP, the beauty, the elixir of life, the diversity, the Shikara, the houseboat, and what not, all will be at stake. Wake up LAWDA, CORD, KU, SKAUST because you have the role and you have the responsibility and not to put it on the shoulders of citizens.
(The author teaches Environmental Science at GDC Bijbehara & is associated with ALACC Naina.)