Wullar Asia’s largest fresh water lake is almost in its dying mode. Located between Bandipora and Sopore, some 30 kms away from Srinagar, it is often termed as mother of all lakes due to its huge size. Conversion of Lake Peripheral into agricultural land, construction of houses for human settlement and related development activities has threatened the existence of fresh water lake.
Along the banks of lake from Sowanwari Bandipora to Sopore areas most of the Lake has brought under agriculture purposes. The fertilizers and weedicides used in these fields directly enters into the lake, it disturbs the natural function of ecosystem. These chemicals kill various flora and fauna species in the lake and thus pose threat for ecosystem diversity. The irrigation is mainly fully loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus chemicals directly enter into lake, which results the eutrophication of lake.
“Faisal Yousuf Mir undergraduate Botany student in Bandipora collage said, “The nitrogen and Phosphors has fostered an overgrowth, which covered the lake and prevent sunlight from entering into the surface of lake. The deep water turned into dead zone and devoid oxygen to enter into home of species present in the lake.
It badly shows it impact on both flora and fauna particularly on (Benthos) bottom dweller species”. He further added that Authorities should lend clear efforts to stop excessive flowing of chemicals in wullar lake, while being a social responsibility people should must play their part in order to preserve fresh water body.
Mohammad Rehman Dar live nearby wullar lake who fetches his bread from Wullar lake, he admits, “dozens of villagers planted lakhs of trees in the crystalline of the lake. The goal of villagers had to create vast plantation for growing firewood and timber for various purposes”.
“The result of plantation is clear as trees drank the water of lake and their roots capture the soil and built up their patches of lands”.
The system in lake mechanically filters out the pollutants, like metal and other particulate pollutants. The rising concentration of toxic chemicals and harmful fluids from vehicle repairing workshops fell into the lake reduces the levels of natural water filter in the lakes. There are many plants in the water body acts as natural water purifies. These water purifier plants removes contaminants not only improves the water quality but also helps to foster a healthier ecosystem in the lake.
Gowher Jan teacher used to teach science in local private school in Bandipora saying, “these purifiers not only helps to maintain quality of water but clear water allows light to penetrate deeper in lake that helps in growth of aquatic plants to produces oxygen and maintain food chain and web in an aquatic ecosystem”.
“The depilation of Natural purifiers would not only degrade the quality of water lake but it would badly effect upon different species present in water body, also the sources of food for aquatic organisms and dwelling place of some organism would be vanished by poison in the form of these chemicals” he added.
The Major Human settlements of Bandipora district are mainly located around the wullar lake. The human settlement posing threat for lake and have aggravated problems. The increased input of sewage and excessive use of fertilizers rich in nitrogen and phosphorus ending up in the lake cause excessive load on nutrients and ultimately change the tropic levels, which will factually lead water body towards loss.
The plantation of tress particularly willows has enormously increased the siltation in the lake. The role of wullar is to regulate the flow Jehlum River and other water streams, One fifth capacity had been of its water holding has been reduced. Thus the role of wullar to regulate flows has drastically reduced which may led floods and drought in valley.
The River Jehlum and other rivulets from the whole valley drain directly in wullar, carrying chemicals, pesticides, solid and liquid wastes used in agricultural and horticulture fields. The outlet of wastes from human settlements finally disposed into wullar lake.
“This is biggest problem and poses serious threat for Wullar lake and for healthy functioning ecosystem in the water body, the waste materials originated from the human settlements and agricultural effluents should be treated on scientific bases before entering into water bodies” said Aaqib Wani holds masters in Botany.