Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), Apr 10 (ANI): The Anchar Lake near Srinagar, which was once a popular tourist destination, is now on the verge of extinction due to encroachment, pollution and illegal constructions within its vicinity.
The famous Anchar Lake was once connected to the Dal Lake and tourists' used to throng here in large numbers on houseboats via channels connecting the two lakes.
The pollution and the discharge of untreated effluents besides encroachments have contaminated the lake.
The flora and fauna that was thrived in the Anchar Lake have been destroyed and it is now infested with weeds.
Navigating a Shiakara, the traditional gondola-like boat in the lake, is now a very difficult proposition.
The water here has contaminated due to direct dumping of sewage and waste material in the lake from human settlements.
"Tourists used to come here on house boats from Dal Lake. They loved it. They would say that the lake is huge. No one comes here now," observed Fayaz Ahmed, a local.
"The authorities had said that they will grant money to restore the lake, but no one has done anything yet," he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government had a recently announced the allotment of massive funds to upgrade some of the lakes in the state, which included the upgradation of the Anchar Lake as well, but the end results seem to be nowhere seen.
The officials, however, claimed that a joint action plan has been planned for the restoration of such lakes and work at some places has already begun.
"Over the years, there has been much deterioration and encroachment in the Anchar Lake. There have been illegal constructions; water bodies were also changed to marshland. The government is very serious about the matter," said Additional District Development Commissioner Sarmad Hafiz.
"A 'Lake and Waterway Authority' has been created. Lot of work is going on in Dal Lake and Nagin Lake; a lot has been done for Anchar Lake too. We are doing all that we can to stop the pollution and encroachment in the Anchar Lake," he added.
Serious thought is required to be given for the once popular tourist and picnic spots to regain their lost glory, as these are considered to be the backbone of the economy of Kashmir valley. (ANI)