Lakes No More Attract Tourists

14 May 2014
Rising Kashmir
Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar: Thousands of tourists coming to Kashmir valley have expressed their dismay over the deteriorating condition of the water bodies here, Rising Kashmir learnt Wednesday. The famous lakes of Srinagar that stand as a backbone to the tourism in Kashmir have highly disappointed the tourists due to their bad condition and 'mismanagement.' Tourists who had come from different parts of world to visit Kashmir are not happy with the condition of lakes as well as rivers in Srinagar as they said that 'lakes of city are posing a health hazard and threat to environment of Kashmir,' Even three year after this serious issue came to light. Authority has failed to execute any works to prevent pollution of the city's pristine lakes such as the famous Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake, Aanchar Lake. The growing pollution of the lakes is threatening the sustainable use of Lakes, the vital resource and the important part of tourism, less known but once used to bea large lake in Srinagar is Aanchar lake. Each day gallon of raw sewage and rubbish flows into the Aanchar Lake under the nose of authority. The Anchar Lake was one best enjoyed by tourists in a Shikhara or houseboat but now even tourists say that they find it a highly polluted and risky to health. 'i don't know who is looking after the lakes in Kashmir but i must say it is very unfortunate seeing the condition of these lakes especially the famous Dal lake and this Aanchar lake. I visited all the lakes of Srinagar but i didn't see them in such a worst condition ever,' a tourist from Austria Mathew Hawks told Rising Kashmir. He added he had a keen interest in capturing the scenes of lake views but he was not happy seeing the condition of lakes in Srinagar. Anchar Lake was habitat for the birds which is a thing of the past now. 'The pollution by the discharge of untreated drainage and encroachments has contaminated the lakes of the city. The flora and fauna that once thrived in the Anchar Lake and Nigeen have been destroyed and the lakes are now filled with weeds,' official sources in SKUAST said. Adding that, The Anchar Lake situated near Soura at a distance of not more than 15 kilometres from Srinagar's city centre Lal Chowk once used to be a large lake which is almost on the verge of extinction now. Another tourist, Warner Vales who had cross the miles to visit Kashmir to see the crystal clear water of lakes which according to him was one of his dreams said that he felt pain after seeing what he had never expected for the lakes in Srinagar. 'I am highly disappointed by the condition of water bodies of Kashmir. I never expected Dal lake to be in such a worst condition. I have a strange attachment with Kashmir and its water bodies but this time they made my heart to pain,' Vales added. 'AACHAIR LAKE' (Aanchar Lake she meant to say) is totally vanished, it has nit remained like the one that i had saw eight years ago a beautiful water body,' said Kelly Clark a 52 year lady from United States of America. Lakes here also faces the problem of silting, most of the well-known lakes in Kashmir have been deteriorating in the past few years. Kashmir has name and fame due to water bodies, lush green meadows, snow-peaked mountains and waterfalls, so when these things are not taken care of nothing will be left here. Adds Clark 'Hope paradise returns here' she sighs and said. As a legal expert of environment Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman Head of department of environmental Sciences department SKUAST also agreed that lakes of Srinagar were deteriorated in many ways which needs immediate attention.