Pollution, shrinking spell doom for Dal lake
29 October 2000
Srinagar: The picturesque waters of the Dal lake in Kashmir, which draws tourists from the world over, is quickly being stripped off its shimmering beauty and shrinking in size with routine dumping of industrial wastes and encroachment along its banks. Once a star tourist attraction with its famed shikaras, the lake would soon be little more than a cesspool of filth due to the encroachment, mechanical deweeding and sluggish water movement. Situated at an altitude of 1,580 metres above sea level in east of Srinagar and high Zaberwan mountains with their lower slopes descending to the lake and orchards and wooden fields in the backdrop, the lake has shrunk from 58 sq km to the present 11.05 sq km. Continued agricultural activity in the floating gardens and catchment areas, land reclamation, encroachments and constructions in and around the lake have also contributed to its steady degradation. On the surface, the lake may still look beautiful, but it has been polluted with sewage wastes and poisonous effluents which have been routinely routed to its waters over the years.