GOI Gives Dressing-Down To State Over Deterioration Of Anchar,Khushhal Sar Lakes

SRINAGAR — Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MEF) has written to the state government expressing severe concern over the deterioration of Anchar, Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes. The MEF has asked the state to improve their condition and keep a check on the release of untreated sewage into the water bodies.

Even though hun­dreds of crores have been spend so far on conservation and manage­ment projects, the condition of Khushallsar, Gilsar and Anchar lakes here continues to be deteriorating. The Gilsar Lake which receives water from Dal Lake is on the verge of extinction due to failure of the authorities to check en­croachments. This has now prompted the MEF to ask the state government to take measures for conservation of these water bodies.  

“Water bodies in Srinagar like Anchar, Khushalsar, Gilsar are in deteriorated condition and need immediate intervention,” the ministry stated in a recent letter to the state government.

A number of residents of Srinagar said that the Khushal Sar lake is in a “highly de­teriorated condition.” “It has been encroached upon at many places with illegal construction and land filling,” said Mohmmad Afzal Khan, a resident of Ali Masjid.

The Khusal Sar lake once stretched from Zoonimar up to the Aali Masjid, but now it has considerably shrunk in size It is connected to the Anchar lake via a small channel and Gilsar, is connected to the Khush­al Sar via a narrow strait, which is spanned by a bridge known as Gil Kadal. The Gilsar lake is in turn connected to the Nigeen lake via the Nallah Amir Khan. “Until the 1970s, the Mar Canal drained into this lake providing naviga­bility up to Ganderbal via the Anchar lake. After the filling up of the Mar Canal, the condition of the lake deteriorated further,” added Afzal.

The Union Ministry has asked the state to take measures to improve the condition of the lakes. “ Based on the pre-feasibility report submitted for management of Anchar, Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes, the state government was informed to submit an integrated sewerage plan for the entire Srinagar city, as pollution from untreated sewer is a major factor for deterioration of these water bodies,” the letter by the MEF to the State’s forest department notes.

A senior government official admitted that the state government has not shown seriousness in conservation of these water bodies. “We have to stop illegal constructions and development of housing colonies which are constructed by land-filing Anchar, Khushalsar and Gilsar,” he said.

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