Heavy militarization of Kashmir Valley risking Environment, Ecology

Policy Group, civil society ask Govt to adopt concrete measures to save environment

Several members of Environment Policy Group (EPG) and civil society Monday asked the government to adopt concrete measures to save the environment from degradation.
Holding placards and banners, Environmental Policy Group (EPG) in coordination with various tour operators, civil society members, FCIK members, Earth day network and eco-peace resource members held a demonstration at Pratap Park to put the focus on environmental concerns.
The members said the government has shown no seriousness to save the environment and still continues to neglect it.
Faiz Ahmad Bakshi, General Secretary, KCC&I, said that for the last 7 decades the environment is degrading.
He blamed the central as well as state government for the environmental degradation. “Heavy militarization in the state is risking the beauty of our environment especially our tourist destinations,” he said.
He said the government is exploiting the natural resources of the state. “We have different power projects here especially the Kishen Ganga project where the area has been totally submerged. All the electricity goes outside the state. Government is constructing the buildings of universities on wetlands. So, the environment and its beauty are dying a slow death.”
Raja MuzaffarBhat, Chairman, J& K RTI Movement said, “Lack of environmental policies, poor implementation of laws in the state has destructed our environment. Illegal construction on the wetlands further destroys it. This is a grave concern for everyone.”
He said that it is the responsibility of government to save the already degraded environment from further degradation.
“All the associated bodies in the administration should work actively on the ground to save the natural resources in the state. They should strictly deal with the elements responsible for encroaching our wetlands.” He said.
“Once the pristine glory,” Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a noted historian said that the Dal lake has lost its quality, beauty, and area. “Water of the Dal Lake was a cure for different ailments. The quality of the water was 100 percent pure but today if people will drink this water, they will definitely fall sick.”
He said that at his young age even illiterates used to remain cautious and refrained from polluting the beautiful Lake. “Now, people are leaving no chance to pollute the Dal Lake. The state government including the so-called professionals and intellectual classes have failed to protect the water bodies especially the Dal Lake. Modern people and their technology have created a mess in the environment,” he said.
The members also said the biodiversity of the state is not in the safe hands.
Industrial chieftain and Social Activist, Shakeel A Qalander who is also the member of civil society group said that only 11% of trees are left in the forests here. “Due to the deforestation, continuous fire incidents and lack of government empathy, the forests here are shrinking and losing its trees.”