Social activists, environmentalists protest against bad condition of Dal Lake

March 4th, 2008 - 9:34 pm ICT by admin  

Srinagar, Mar 4 (ANI): Hundreds of social activists and environmentalists on Tuesday staged a march protesting against the deteriorating condition of the famed Dal Lake.
The Dal dwellers were chanting slogans against Lakes and Waterways Development Authority’s (LAWDA) and demanded that the conservation of the state’s water bodies should be handed over to a private firm.
“We can still create a Taj Mahal, but we cannot produce a Dal Lake with its unique ecology set in the midst of verdant mountains. Even if we spent billions of dollars, we cannot have another Dal Lake, “said Chairman of the House Boat Owners’ Association, Mohammad Azim.
Authorities and environmentalists blame the families living around the lake for dumping rubbish, sewage and other wastes, which create landfills of mud and weeds in the waters for farming land and floating gardens.
The lake’s size has been halved in a few decades, to some 13 square km (five square miles), due to farmland encroachment.
A study conducted last year by the State’s Comptroller and Auditor General reported that the lake has excessively high levels of toxic metals due to sewage.
Tests of water samples showed arsenic levels were almost 1,000 times above permissible levels. (ANI)

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