Nigeen project can give Dal a few tips on lake conservation

When the water bodies in the valley are deteriorating and drains and sewage being dumped into them, the Nigeen Lake's conservation organization NLCO, an NGO, has set up an example by taking an initiative to save it, however small it may be.

The NLCO was started in 2000 with the donation from a group of businessmen to save the Nigeen Lake from further pollution and it seems they have succeeded to an extent. "We registered our organization with the Government in 2001 and started deweeding of the lake which proved very beneficial," said one of the founder members of NLCO, Manzoor Ahmed Wangnoo.

The organization has involved the residents living in the area around the lake in the campaign started by them. NLCO had also launched an awareness campaign regarding the effect of dumping polythene and other waste material in Nigeen Lake. "We have worked voluntarily with the locals and worked on a small budget when we started. Go and check there is not a single polythene in the central portion of the Lake" said Wangnoo.

"We forcibly removed some floating gardens and the pipes which were laid in the middle of the lake for water treatment," he said.

The area of the lake has decreased considerably with the 60,000 odd illegal constructions inside the lake which also contribute to the pollution in the Lake. The main source of pollution from the residential houses is the kitchen waste water which contains detergents and soaps say the experts.

"The people living in the lake should be rehabilitated, given proper sanitation and electricity. The floating gardens should be removed immediately as they contribute to the shrinking area of the lake," added Wangnoo. The people living in and around the lake need hygienic kitchens with good sanitation and drainage.

Floating gardens which are actually a land mass in the water are a real threat to the lake. "Floating gardens stop flow of water, silt, dead animals and polythene which leads to water stagnation," he said.

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