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Extensive efforts by NGO’s to clean up Dal lake

At a time when thousands of tons of garbage find its way into the Dal,NGO's have come to the rescue.

Written by Sadaf Bushra | Srinagar |
March 25, 2009 8:59:40 am

At a time when thousands of tons of garbage,sewage and drainage find its way into the Dal,Non Government Organization’s (NGO) have come to the rescue of the lake; Hope,Global Green Peace and Nelco are the three NGOs currently working simultaneously for the preservation of Dal and Nigeen Lake.

Zahoor Wani,a journalist,is working for Dal preservation and has worked with Hope,Green Kashmir,Global Green Peace and Center for Human Development. Hope has been working for preservation of Dal for the past ten years. “We have worked for solid waste management of Dal Lake,which comes from its residential and commercial areas,” said Wani. “We collected waste from house boats and the Dal’s open surface which is currently 12.5 sq km”.

Hope has engaged workers to collect this waste from the house boats,residential areas and restaurants of Dal to save it from degradation. “We have put collection sacks into the Dal were people gather the waste and workers take it to two points at Ashai Bagh and Boulevard,” said Wani. “From the collection points Municipality takes this waste to Achan for dumping purpose,”

According to Hope,the Dal dwellers have responded well to the garbage management process and they are co-operating. “Initially we had to face resistance from the people in Dal but when we made them aware they responded well,” said Wani. “Now we are quite successful with the campaign and people now are showing more responsible behavior,”

“We have covered around 704 house boats and around 110 mohalla of Dal,Nigeen and Boulevard area. We also had a survey conducted by IIT Rourki,which has a report on our campaign,” said Wani. In 2007 Global Green Peace worked on this project but it was stopped by government soon. The sources stated its poor performance as the reason for withdrawal.

Currently Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) is working on Solid waste management of the Lake. “Presently Lawda is alone doing the preservation work. They have not yet sought help of any of the NGO as such. We have applied again this time. We hope that we come up in short listed list,which will be coming in few days,”

Also the NGO stressed on the point that the Dal dwellers need to be made aware of the problem of the Lake and how can it be tackled. “A bridge is to be established among the people and the authorities so that a consensus can be reached about the problem the lake is facing,” said Wani. “We have to kill the habit of the people of throwing garbage into lake,once they are put in a new schedule,the habit will also change. We believe in doing practical things rather than seminars etc. Now if the workers don’t go,people call us. It is very encouraging for us,”

For the NGO,the problem of lake can be solved only by involving both the parties of problem in negotiation process. “The Dal inhabitants and the authorities should talk,confront and compromise. They should come up with a solution acceptable to all and which saves the lake. Preservation is very important and should not be neglected,” said Wani.

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