Dried up

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Remains of the iron gate that once regulated water flow on Chaeche Kul at Zampa Kadal in Srinagar

Once witnessing huge inflow of migratory, many of Kashmir’s wetlands have dried up. Ikhlaq Qadri reports.  

At least seven wetlands have lost into oblivion during the last few decades.

The wetlands would once witness huge influx of birds, and also attract hunters. These wetlands include –  Pampore wetland, Kranchu (Pulwama), Manibug (Pulwama), Chandhaara (Pulwama), Narkara (Budgam), Baednambal (Baramulla), Maligaam (Ajas, Bandipora).

Once famous destinations are now termed as not so important by the officials.

“Those were not that much important, just meager wetlands of around 50 to 60 Kanals,” said an official wishing not to be named.

Besides these around 30 to 50 percent of the Valley’s four premier wetlands which attract large number of migratory birds have been lost to siltation and encroachments over the years.

“Due to siltation they get squeezed,” Ghulam Ahmed Lone, Wet lands Warden said.

The figures provided by the Wetland management wing of the Wildlife department depicts upto 50 per cent squeezing in Mirgund Wetland which has reduced from four kilometer area to just two Kilometers presently.

It is followed by the 38 percent area reduction in Shalbugh Wetland, 30 per cent in Hokera Wetland and 28 per cent in Haigam Wetland.

The area under Hokarsar Wetland is down from 13.75 square kilometers to less than four square kilometers, Shalbugh is down from 16 sq kilometres to less than 7 sq km, Haigam from 14 sq km to five sq km and Mirgund from four to two sq kms.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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