Bandipora Tales: A district known for its rich water sources pain grim picture

Bandipora Tales: A district known for its rich water sources pain grim picture

‘A dozen natural water sources turn into dumping sites, springs dying a slow death’

Sajid Raina

Bandipora: Almost all the natural sources of water in this district are dying a fast death with majority of springs turning into dumping sites in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, which once was known as the place bestowed with the nature’s bounty—springs and gushing streams.
Bandipora was being known for three things, Alim (Knowledge), Adab (Literature) and Aab (Water) but now the drinking water seems to be running away from the people as most of the water bodies have been turned dumping site either people have illegally raised constructions over springs in most areas of the district.

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According to the water channels in several areas including, Gundpora, Ajas, Kehnusa, Arin, Kuloosa, Gamroou, Nadihal, Guroora, have now turned into dumping sites as the villagers put all garbage of their households into these water channels choking not only them but becoming a major pollutant of the Asia’s largest freshwater lake.
Dumping of garbage, including plastic and continue to affect thee 200-year-old stream in Gundpora as locals want effective steps to be taken so that the glory of the stream gets restored.
“Apart from dumping waste, rotten food items, garlands, plastic bottles, obsolete items are dumped in the stream”, said Abdul Gani (60), a local resident, whose family was frequently using its water. While most of the garbage gets submerged, plastic bottles and other waste keeps floating into it and block the flow of water at few places.

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The rising pollution and high-nutrient load continues to flow and gather on the surface of the water, which locals used for drinking decades ago. “The water bodies are vanishing in Bandipora and are no more treat to eyes,” said Abdul Razak Bhat, an elderly man from main town Bandipora.
The locals said that even scores of springs in the district, some of them more than 100 years old, are wallowing in neglect owing to the apathy of the relevant authorities as the oldest spring has become a garbage dumping site in Gamroou village, earlier its water is used by the locals for domestic use.
“Concerned authorities have been making tall claims that the water bodies will be cleaned and preserved, but it is only getting worse each passing day,” Saqib Ahmad, a resident of Rampora area of the district told Kashmir Glacier.
He said authorities are yet to take precautionary steps. “No appropriate steps have been initiated to clean water sources, check the overflow of sewage, contamination of water channels, dumping of garbage in rivers and streams in Bandipora so far,” Ahmad said.
Abdul Khaliq, a local resident said that a 100 year oldest spring in Gundpora has now completely dried up which leads the people to go a long distance to fetch drinking water. “Similarly, another oldest spring in Dardpora also denying to provide water as it has been also dried,” he said.

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Reports of turning bright springs and huge water bodies into garbage dumping sites are not only reported from Bandipora adjacent villages but the condition of the springs and water channels are not different from the sub-urban areas Bandipora. In Hajin, Sumbal, Shahgund, Gundejegangir, Madvan the plight of water bodies is the same ironically, which continues to fall in government negligence, residents of several villages of Bandipora said.

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