Mafia, Employee ‘Nexus’ Disfigure Wular Lake

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

KL file Image of Wular Lake.
KL file Image of Wular Lake.

Despite repeated directions from Jammu and Kashmir High Court (JKHC) regarding removal of encroachments along the banks of water bodies, authorities in North Kashmir have failed to restore the pristine glory of Wular Lake, considered to be Asia’s largest fresh water body.

Right from Nengli Sopore, the illegal structures have come up along lake banks and the irony is that the encroachers after occupying a patch of water body sell it to another party for fishing purposes.

Locals told CNS that it is a big mafia which not only involves fishermen but also officials from various government departments

“The mafia after erecting a temporary structure along the banks of Wular Lake, gradually creep into the water bodies and occupy a vast patch by erecting logs with sign boards, thus prohibiting others from fishing in that patch of illegally occupied water body. Gradually, the mafia sells this patch to another party for fishing purposes and a due share is given to concerned government officials,” locals said.

“It is an irony that authorities are numb despite knowing the facts and no efforts are made to dismantle these illegal structures or put a stop to illegal trade practice,” they said, adding that despite bringing the issue into the notice of authorities, no action has been initiated against this “active mafia”.

Wular Lake according to experts has been extensively encroached upon and polluted, with the government acting as mute spectator.

Illegal constructions dot the meandering banks of the lake in many areas. Wular has shrunk extensively and its water carrying capacity has decreased to a great extent.

Ironically, Director Fisheries Rajesh Dogra had promised to people that he will initiate action against the mafia and encroachers, but even then no action was initiated against anyone. Despite repeated attempts Director Fisheries Rajesh Dogra could not be contacted.

However, another top official from the Fisheries Department admitted that a mafia is active in the area and illegal structures have come up along the Wular Lake. “The Department has already constituted a team and the drive has been started to dismantle these illegal structures.”

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