SRINAGAR: The government failure to restore Brari Nambal Lagoon at Babademb to its erstwhile glory has turned it into a cesspool with pungent smell making life of inhabitants living around it a virtual hell.
Locals accuse authorities of turning blind eye towards the restoration of this lagoon saying, the stinking smell emanating from it due to rise in temperatures has badly affected their health especially of children and elderly .
The authorities have sat on the project meant to restore this lagoon to its pristine glory, and this has resulted in the worsening condition of it day by day. The situation is turning alarming as the stinking smell emanating from it is affecting our health now, Javed Nazir, a local of Babademb area of Srinagar City said.
The locals complained that most of the drains of adjoining areas including Fateh Kadal and Khanyar directly empty into the lagoon which has further affected its flora.
The sewage outflow emptying into this lagoon through deep drains from various adjacent areas besides wastage thrown into it by hundreds of non-local scavengers living in hutments on an encroached part of it on the rear side has turned it into a cesspool, Sajid, another local said.
The locals said although the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) entrusted with restoration of Brari Nambal had launched a cleaning drive many years ago, no cleaning drive was started since and now the lagoon is in its last throes in absence of sustained efforts.
Authorities have only constructed fencing around the lagoon and totally neglected its restoration. A few years ago garbage was also dumped along its banks and the practice was called off only after public outcry, he added.
Kashmiri Pandits visiting Manglashawar temple situated in the centre of lagoon to offer prayers also complained of stinky smell originating from it saying, earlier we would visit this temple in Shikaras and on way would drank water of this lagoon but now due to official apathy, the lagoon has turned into a marsh, an elderly Kashmiri Pandit said.
Pertinently before filling up of Nallah Mar, the lagoon was a part of main outflow channel of Dal Lake. It helped to regulate Dal waters and save its inhabitants from floods. The lagoon was a major route of inland water transportation system in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
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