Let people rise

People must take ownership of the water bodies that we have, and put pressure on government to take some serious action

Greater Kashmir
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 22 2018 11:23PM | Updated Date: May 22 2018 11:23PM

It is a stark reality that the state has been losing one after another water body. Once lush green valleys are slowly turning into parched lands - that as a community so far we have failed to recognize. To say that the white collar criminals in collusion with the political thugs are largely responsible for the desertification of the state more particularly the Kashmir Valley is not hyperbole. That a large number of officers, officials, and politicians have fattened and are fattening on various schemes meant for conservation of various water bodies is no secret. Some of the classic examples are the Dal and Nageen lakes and once pristine water lagoon Brari-Nambal in the heart of summer capital hardly a kilometer or two away from the power center. Tens of millions so far have been expended in the name of saving the water bodies without conserving any of most endangered. It is not lakes, lagoons, and springs that have suffered callosity and criminality of the bureaucracy even rivers have not been spared. Had not the revenue officials connived with the vested interests and allowed encroachments and construction on the river banks, perhaps rivers like Doodh-Ganga would not be today on the way to extinction. In a society where corruption has gained social sanctity and the corrupt feel like enjoying protection from the state, it is the public answerability that plays an important role in disciplining the administration. Sadly the State as such, and Kashmir province particularly, has failed to throw up a vibrant and energetic civil society committed to protection, preservation, and restoration of water bodies. It augured well when a citizen in the heart of the capital city raised voice against the governments failing to take steps for restoration of Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes. The twin lakes along with the Anchar Lake connected with the Dal Lake, just a few decades back were biggest bird sanctuary and important tourist destination. But, for the lackadaisical attitude of various governments, these water bodies are about to disappear from the map of the city. Instead of ignoring the public outcry against the death of these water bodies, the government should take immediate steps for their restoration and conservation. It should not wait for a massive public outcry. 


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