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World Environment Day ‘mourned’ in Kashmir


By Hirra Azmat

Srinagar, Jun 05: On the World Environment Day observed on Tuesday, the civil society members lamented the environmental degradation in Kashmir.


The Environmental Policy Group (EPG) in coordination with various tour operators, civil society members, FCIK members, J&K RTI movement held an event to put focus on the environmental concerns.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day was “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

The organisations, however, said they would “mourn it” instead of celebrating it.

Shakeel Qalander, a civil society member said, the pace at which environmental degradation has been taking place predicts a “bleak future”.

“We are already facing an acute water crisis. The water bodies are dwindling at a fast rate and forest cover is also receding. I fear the worse,” Qalander said.

He stressed on the need to change the attitude of the government towards environmental issues.

“The government has to change their approach and attitude towards the ecology and environment if we are to preserve our water bodies and lakes,” he said.

The civil society member lamented: “Another environment day will be gone by and government will do nothing to preserve the environment.”

Noted satirist, Zareef Ahmad Zareef expressed displeasure over considerable degradation of lakes due to the “lackadaisical attitude of the government”.

“Take the example of fast losing two lakes–Nigeen and Dal Lake. The lake are shrinking in area, because of the encroachments by hoteliers, reduction in volume by silting caused mainly due to catchment area degradation and increased pollution, entry of untreated sewage and solid waste from the peripheral areas and houseboats,” Zareef said.

“The successive governments have failed to implement the laws in place.”

“The government has time and again proved futile in preserving the environment. Unfortunately, there are ample environmental laws but there is no implantation.”

Raja Muzaffar, head of the RTI movement, referred to the sole dumping site Achan’s fast depleting capacity.

“Over the years, the dumping site will be filled to the brim, and there will no alternative at hand. All thanks to the successive regimes,” Muzaffar said.

Environment lawyer, Nadeem Qadri said the government has failed to spend funds on high altitude lakes.

“We have gathered here to form a body which will be voice for preservation of environmental issues and to make government accountable,” he added.