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By: MohmodIrfan Shah, Samreen Bilal

On April 24, 2022, Mission AmritSarovar was started to conserve water for the future. In honouringAzadikaAmritMahotsav, the Mission aims to revitalise 75 water bodies in each nation district, which would result in the formation of 50,000 water bodies, each measuring at least an acre in size. The Mission mobilises the private sector and non-governmental resources to support these initiatives.

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has a wide range of water bodies. However, these have become encroached upon, highly contaminated, or silted over time, resulting in a less functional state, especially for operations such as groundwater recharge. Almost all smaller-scale water sources have been wholly encroached upon, converted into parks, rendered untraceable, filled with filthy water, and so on. By mapping the coordinates of various water bodies, restoration and rejuvenation of specific water bodies can be planned, including community engagement, an autonomous system, government and non-government groups, and so on. During this internship, we briefly reviewed the current state of the Khanqah of ShahiHamdan water body and BrariNambal water body, which are both devoid of water.

As a result of urbanisation, modernisation, and population increase, sewage disposal and lake surface water contamination are becoming increasingly problematic. Jehlum’s water quality, including its sources, has deteriorated considerably over the last four decades, rendering it unfit for home use and visually unappealing. Eutrophication has resulted from using fertilisers, particularly near water supply sources such as Dal Lake and BrariNambal. This research aims to improve the present water quality of different sources. Many parameters, such as pH, nitrate, phosphorus, turbidity, BOD, and so on, can be used to assess water quality. Plastic scrap contamination is an increasing environmental threat, particularly in water bodies. This issue must be addressed as soon as possible to prevent future deterioration of water quality.

Many issues contribute to the direct degradation of water bodies in terms of their condition. One of the most significant contributors to pollution that eventually leads to water body degradation is the direct dumping of waste into the water body, whether it is garbage disposal or drainage outlets of households or industries discharging both biodegradable and non-biodegradable material.

The most difficult challenge is to contain the pollution created by humans, particularly those who live on the water’s edge. Furthermore, weeds have overrun in Brari-Nambal, blocking sunlight and trapping waste, creating a blockade, and interfering with the free passage of water and thus the ecology of the water body.

The sewage treatment facility, which falls under the Urban Environmental Engineering Department of J&K, is the central water purification unit on the bank of BrariNambal. It has outlived its useful life and thus cannot treat water to the required levels.

Gist of our Team work in support of Mission AmritSarovar

Our college, SSM College of Engineering and Technology ParihasporaPattan, was selected by AICTE, Govt of India, as one of the participating institutes for conducting Internship studies on Khanqah of ShahiHamdan. Under the leadership of Fayaz Ahmad Shah (ASI), the Nodal officer, he headed the project in Srinagar. After having a proper consultation with him, a team of 14 students from different engineering departments was in this connection. Our team started the Mission AmritSarovar- JalDharoharSanrakhshan internship on July 18. The group decided to have a stepwise approach to the Mission. Er. Syed Tahir Hassan and Er.Ishfaq Ahmad Dar guided the team throughout the internship. The team inspected the water body, discharge of wastewater and drainage facilities of the area and observed that the water body was too polluted.

Keeping all this in view, we held a meeting with our INO Er.S.S.A. Rufai and discussed the line of action to be followed further. Through various observations and discussions, our team came up with the following recommendations:

  • Introduction of crude filters to prevent direct discharge of drainage outlets into the Jehlum.
  • The use of floating boom in Jehlum and downstream of BrariNambal will prevent floating debris from flowing inside Jehlum.
  • Use of floating litter trap which stays afloat and entraps the floating debris.
  • Removal of excessive vegetation in BrariNambal.
  • We are using Floating fountains in BrariNambal to increase aeration in the water body to increase dissolved oxygen which will flourish aquatic life.
  • Install dustbins on the banks of Jehlum and around the catchment of BrariNambal to prevent disposal of litter into the water bodies.

MohmodIrfan Shah is an author of the book “Surviving the Apocalyptic Society” and is currently pursuing B.E civil engineering from SSM College of engineering

Samreen Bilal is a student pursuing B.E Civil Engineering from SSM College of Engineering.

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