Administration ignores Khusalsar-Gilsar as locals turn it into garbage dumping site
BY: MARIYA YOUNIS
Srinagar: The once pristine and beautiful Khusalsar-Gilsar lake in Srinagar is fast turning into a garbage dumping site in the wake of administrations apathy and insensitivity of the locals who have turned the lake into an eyesore.
Local residents of Gilli Kadal Zoonimar located on the banks of the said lake have been dumping garbage here from years now and have managed to go unnoticed with government not taking any serious action in this regard leaving the lake to choke by every passing day.
Besides the local waste, the lake also suffers the waste that comes floating from Dal lake and nearby areas and is accumulated here.
“Decades ago, water in the lake was crystal clear and I used to throw a coin in the lake and then jump to get it back. However, the situation is otherwise now and one can see only garbage floating over the lake. The water is terribly contaminated, ” said a local resident, Ali Mohammad Magray adding that if the government was responsible for the issue, the locals too had the onus on them as they have been dumping the waste here from decades now.
Speaking with this reporter, an official from Lakes &Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) while stating that the lake was not under their jurisdiction and was under the supervision of Srinagar Municipal Committee (SMC) and wildlife warden, he however appealed people as well as the concerned authorities to stop ignoring the lake and work towards restoration of its glory back.
However while talking to Srinagar Municipal Committee NowsheraCheif Sanitation Officer, Mudasir Banday said, “It is under the jurisdiction of LAWDA, not under SMC.
“We only have brooms and raidas, to clean the roads and banks. Although we have installed dustbins everywhere and our workers daily collect garbage from there”.
Stating that the glory of the lake was now turned into gloom, another local resident said that, “it used to be a tourist spot in past”. He recalled that this spot was once visited by prominent actors and cinema personalities like Actor Prem Nath who would enjoy Shikara ride in the lake. “I had the chance to meet him (Prem Nath) near my house. People used to tell me I live in paradise, today I feel ashamed about my surroundings,” he added.
Saying that the state of affairs was pretty bad as well as challenging here, an official from ‘Mission Ahsass’, an organization which works for the restoration and conservation of water bodies in Kashmir, Manzoor Ahmed wangnoo, said that he was ready to volunteer for the cleaning of the lake. He further said that while efforts are essential to nring the lake back to its prestine glory, it was the people of the area who needed some education so that they stop throwing garbage into the lake.