Bloom not new, our team working on assessment of Dal waters: VC LAWDA
Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has failed to curb the growth of red algal bloom on world famous Dal Lake which has engulfed a large portion of the water body.
The stretch from Hazratbal to Boulevard is the worst affected and the algae have defaced the portion of the lake.
Locals, as well as environmental experts have expressed resentment over the presence of red algal bloom on Dal surface that has completely changed the lake’s colour into red.
Ghulam Nabi Shalla, a Dal dweller accused the LAWDA of neglecting the lake and not cleaning it with proper machinery.
“LAWDA has completely failed to maintain sanitation in the Dal Lake as nothing has changed on the ground,” Shalla said while pointing towards the polluted portion of the lake.
Hydrologist and environmental expert Aijaz Rasool told Rising Kashmir that presence of red algal bloom over surface of Dal Lake is a major indication of pollution inside the water body.
“Pollution level has gone up and when the temperature increases its growth is doubled,” Rasool said adding that the nutrient content in the lake has increased from last four years.
“It not only points to the deteriorating health of an already stressed lake but also raises questions over the direction of conservation efforts,” Rasool said.
HOD, Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, Professor Shakil Ahmad Romshoo said it is advisable to uproot these aggressive aquatic plants manually using traditional techniques so that the problem of their proliferation is checked in the lake.
The mechanical deweeding leaves the roots underwater, which will lead to the new growth of these lilies, so it (deweeding) needs to be repeated again and again, he said.
“We have only been treating the symptoms anddon’t address the root cause,” he said, adding that the untreated sewage from nearly half the Srinagar population flows into Dal Lake.
All the lake’s problems arise from this, Romshoo said adding, “Weed growth, fish loss, declining water quality can only be addressed if we arrest or treat the inflows into the lake.”
From 2014, there has been tremendous growth of aquatic plants inside the Dal Lake, he further said. “It is a temporary thing and will go with the passing time. If we must control the weeds in the lake, we need the under-lake system and we need to identify the sources from where these nutrients are coming,” Romshoo added.
Vice Chairman LAWDA, Hafeez Masoodi said the emergence of red algal bloom is not new in Dal Lake as these are some stagnant pockets located close to the settlements, such as Golf Course and other residential settlements.
“They use fertilizers, pesticides and drain their water inside the lake which gives birth to these blooms. On the directions of Governor, there is an operation going on for rapid assessment of waters of Dal Lake,” the VC said.
He said the authority is trying to completely wipe out the weeds and lily pads from Dal Lake.
“Currently our team is assessing the water of the lake. Hopefully in the future we will be able to control surfacing of these algal blooms in the lake,” Masoodi added.