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Shrinking lakes of Jammu pose threat to environment

By Samyuktha

Mansar, Samba, June 15 (ANI): Mansar and Saruinsar lakes in Jammu have the potential to become a major tourist destination and can draw over a thousand tourists every day.

The lakes, however, need to be conserved. They are the source of water for dinking purposes for the neighborhood villages. The Public Health Engineering department, is seized of the problem and is exploring the possibilities of finding borewells

These picturesque water bodies in the midst of hills covered by green forests, are gradually shrinking.

The water drawn from the lakes is supplied to 56 villages nearby. Nearly 75,000 gallons of water from the two water bodies is pumped out daily by the Public Health Engineering department to supply water to some villages and hamlets and general public for construction and irrigation purposes.

All this has led to declining water-level and a large portion of the lake- bed is turning dry.

Also, a large number of the rare turtles and fish species have started dying.

"The lake is home to several birds and animals. And if the water is lifted at this rate then the lake will soon become a small pond," says Gyan Singh, a local resident. ansar is a holy site and shares the sanctity of Mansa Sarovar.

Visitors feed fish as it is considered very sacred here. But lowering of water-level is harming aquatic life in the lakes.

"Water is an important element for a picnic-spot. People come from as far as 70 km to 80 km only to see the Mansar Lake. If the water level of the lake drops, then the main feature will die and therefore, the number of tourists coming here will also decrease, affecting the local economy," said Sharad Kumar, a Varanasi tourist.

Authorities claim that a comprehensive plan to save these two lakes is underway. People hope these plans do not remain on paper only. By Taheer Nadeem Khan (ANI)

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