Wular, Asia’s largest fresh water lake, shrinking as illegal encroachment on banks continue

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Mafia selling patches of Wular to buyers, in connivance with Fisheries department, allege locals

Bandipora: Despite repeated directions from the Jammu Kashmir High Court on removal of all encroachments along the banks of water bodies, authorities in North Kashmir have failed to restore the pristine glory of Wullar Lake which is Asia’s largest fresh water body.

Right from Nengli Sopore the illegal encroachments have come up in connivance with employees of Fisheries Department and the occupants after occupying a patch of water body sell it to another party for fishing purposes.

Locals allege that it is a big mafia which not only involves fishermen but also a major group of Fisheries Department.

“The mafia after erecting a temporary structure along the banks of Wullar 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 the employees of the Fisheries Department,” the locals said.

“It is an irony that authorities are numb despite knowing the fact and no efforts are made to dismantle these illegal structures or put a stop to illegal trade practice,” said a respectable citizen of Bandipora district who added that despite bringing the issue into the notice of Director Fisheries Department, no action has been initiated against the active mafia. Wullar has shrunk extensively and its carrying capacity has decreased,” they said.

Despite repeated attempts, Director Fisheries could not be contacted.


(With inputs from CNS)

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