Srinagar, Sep 14: The Doodh Ganga River in Central Kashmir’s Srinagar city, a major tributary of the Jhelum, has suffered severe pollution as waste, sewage, and even deceased animals have been disposed of along its course, tarnishing its once-gleaming reputation.
“In addition to its environmental impact, the accumulation of garbage in the river has disrupted the local ecosystem, adversely affecting fish breeding, while the proliferation of waste heaps in the vicinity of the lake has compounded the challenges faced by the residents in the surrounding areas,” the locals said.
They said that the rapid degradation of the river’s condition primarily stems from the indiscriminate disposal of garbage along its banks or in close proximity. Furthermore, concerns were raised regarding similar practices at Hokesar wetlands near Zainakot, where cow dung and deceased animals are being directly dumped into the river.
Mushtaq Ahmad, a local resident, voiced his concerns directly, stating, “The dumping of plastic waste in the river poses a grave threat to the aquatic life within it, and the birds living near the river often ingest these plastic materials, leading to asphyxiation.”
Similarly, Naseer Ahmad Dar, another local resident, said that those who are responsible for polluting the river should face penalties. “While the administration is working diligently to clean it, some people continue to pollute, hindering the restoration efforts,” he said.
He said they have informed about the matter to the district administration to no avail. An official provided assurance that stringent measures will be implemented against individuals identified as responsible for the waste dumping.
Furthermore, the official disclosed plans for upcoming awareness programs, which will be carried out in collaboration with local communities to address the issue of doodh ganga pollution. Also, steps will be taken to remove both garbage and dead animals from the area to safeguard the river’s environment and well-being.