Dried Up

   

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

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

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

The wetlands would once witness a 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 meagre wetlands of around 50 to 60 Kanals,” said an official wishing not to be named.

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

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

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

It is followed by the 38 per cent 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 kilometres to less than four square kilometres, 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 km.

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