In Kashmir, Govt contributing to environmental crisis, say activists

Rising Kashmir

In Kashmir, Govt contributing to environmental crisis, say activists

June 06, 2018

Local NGO’s come up with mission to clean lakes, adopt Eco-village

Musaib Mehraj

Srinagar:

With the government failing to clean Dal Lake, local NGO’s from the Kashmir region have stood upon a mission to clean the Dal Lake and establish Eco-villages as they believe Environment day in Kashmir is a day to mourn rather than to celebrate.

Organizing a cleanliness drive the NGO’s have carried out an initiative that is a part of “Save Dal Campaign” which is the youth-driven project for the conservation and protection of Dal Lake and other associated water bodies.

On the eve of World Environment day, two initiatives #CleanLakes and establishing Eco-villages in Dal Lake were launched in which different organizations will take care of sewage treatments and solid waste management.

TawseefBhat, Chairperson of Kashmir Concern said, “The main purpose of adopting a village inside Dal Lake for the sewage treatment and basic material is that we want to show the government that the mission is still possible. Previous we have adopted four villages in Dal Lake as we thought it would be a process that will be possible in future.”

Taweef, who has been affiliated with Dal Lake and is working on it for 15 years said that if they are able to do it on a smaller scale the government can do it on a larger scale but the problem is they are not ready to take the initiative.

“Since today’s environment theme is to beat plastic we have decided to refuse it if you cannot reuse it. We are just trying to make every one ware that how the use of plastic and polythene is proving carcinogenic for people living in and around Dal Lake,” he said.

He asserted that the Dal Lake is everybody’s identity and it is of everybody’s concern even for the people who are not living for the peripherals of Dal Lake. Everyone should be concerned and aware of how to preserve it whether the person lives in far-flung areas or lies in the vicinity.

“We are just optimistic that we can adopt a village and we can show that this village can opt given the waste products and how to use them and segregate other things why can’t we take whole Dal Lake as a single village and work on it,” he said.

He further said that purchasing machinery won’t work for Dal Lake as it is a daily routine now to clean it and next day it’s all same.

“This is just an eye watch for public where it seems Dal Lake looks clean but in reality there are two faces of Dal Lake where the one that is meant for tourists, bureaucrats but the other side behind Houseboats is completely in shambles and people want to get rid of Dal Lake because of the foul smell coming from choked water there,” he said.

AamirWali, Regional Coordinator Earth Day Network and Chief Coordinator Save Dal Campaign said that they have a different approach to work as they work from behind and address the issue at the very heart of it.

“If we talk about sewage treatment and solid waste management that need to address as it has a habit of regeneration and Typha is a defense mechanism for Dal Lake. It says that no more sewage that comes from all the four directions,” he said.

Aamir stated that they have decided to take out plastic material out of the Dal Lake because plastic is the main source of pollution that in concern with fishes, water and people living around.
“The main issue is to make people aware, they are often told to keep themselves clean because cleanliness starts from an individual and then it spreads to all other places. The environment here is degrading and there is nothing to celebrate,” he said.

He further added that more than 3 lac people are dependent on Dal Lake or tourism so there is a need to address these issues and this is a long journey and we have a long way to go.
Meanwhile, with the theme #BeatPlasticPollution Earth Day Network- India in collaboration with Eco Peace Resource Management Foundation and Kashmir Concern and Jannat’s mission organized cleanliness drive.