The water quality of Dal Lake, a famous tourist destination in Jammu and Kashmir, has been a concern for several years due to pollution and degradation. Recently, it has been claimed that water quality has improved during the Modi regime.
Despite concerns raised by locals, Nityanand Rai, Minister of State at the Home Ministry, stated that the water quality of Dal Lake has improved over the past five years.
During a Rajya Sabha session, Rai stated that Rs 23,900 lakhs have been spent on Dal Lake in the past five years, resulting in improvements in water quality and a reduction of effluent parameters within allowable limits.
However, the reality on the ground appears to be different and the situation on the ground remains critical. The lake continues to deteriorate due to increasing pollution and loss of biodiversity
Pollution levels in and around Dal Lake have increased significantly over the years. The transparency and dissolved oxygen levels in the lake have drastically decreased, while the concentration of harmful substances such as phosphates, nitrates and chlorides has increased.
CSE report challenges govt’s claim
A recent report from the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE) has countered the government’s claim of improvements in Dal Lake’s water quality.
According to the CSE report, the lake continues to deteriorate, with increasing pollution and loss of biodiversity.
The report also highlights the lack of effective management and governance, as well as the failure of previous restoration efforts. The CSE has called for urgent action to save the lake, including strict enforcement of pollution control measures and better management of urbanization and tourism.
The hardness of the water has also increased due to the increased levels of carbonates and bicarbonates in the lake. These changes have led to the proliferation of weeds, algae and other aquatic plants, which in turn affect the oxygen levels and biodiversity of the lake.
Reduced water-holding capacity and inefficient solid waste management, destruction of drainage, and disposal of sewage have led to loss of habitat for aquatic plants and animals, affecting people’s livelihoods that depend on the lake.
The situation is further aggravated by changing weather patterns and unplanned tourism, as well as increased impervious surfaces and concretion, which overloads drainage and sewage systems and causes local flooding.
Locals suffering due to rising pollution
GroundReport.in, conducted a ground report on the current state of Dal Lake and found that the locals are suffering due to rising pollution levels. In recent times, children have been getting sick due to the bad smell emanating from the lake, according to locals.
Shahzada Begum, a Dal Lake resident, told GroundReport.in that pollution levels have risen sharply, causing respiratory problems and other illnesses in children. The government’s inaction to address the problem has made the situation even worse.
Govt’s efforts insufficient in preserving Dal Lake
In November 2018, the then state government informed the J&K High Court that Rs 759 crore had been spent on Dal Lake since 2002, but the state of the lake continued to deteriorate.
- Mystic Dal Lake turning into a swamp lake due to pollution
- Dal lake and Wular Lake’s water holding capacity reduced by 40 to 70%
- Floating Vegetable Market on Dal Lake
- Muhammad Yasin’s ‘Bird Forest Resort’ in Kashmir hosts migratory birds
- Capturing Kashmir
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