Shalimar channel turns into garbage dump

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Srinagar—Once considered the jugular vein of the historic Shalimar garden, the Shalimar Channel, is now gasping for breath.

The channel was once used to flush out the overflow water from the garden and also a shortcut route for Mughal rulers to enter the Dal Lake.

Presently the channel has turned into marshland as all the waste material like chips packets  and other related waste material are thrown into the channel.

Ali Muhammad Sofi (70), a local, who owns a tea stall on the bank of the channel, said, “We used to wash the utensils in its waters earlier. But today, look at its condition; it has turned into a drain. Nobody from concerned authorities cares for its restoration,” he said.

He further said the channel was also used to drain out the excess water that would accumulate in the Shalimar garden due to rain or other reasons.

Nisar Ahmad, a tourist guide said if the channel would be dredged and restored  it will boost the tourism in Shalimar. “Everyone would like to have a boat ride from Shalimar to Dal Lake through this channel,” he said.

The concerned authorities seem least bothered about the immediate restoration of the channel.

Officials in the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) say, “When our machines will be free from Dal Lake we will deploy the machines in the Shalimar Channel.” (KNS)

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