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Dying Hokarsar Needs Phased Revival

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The Author is a prominent National TV debater and Social Activist. He can be mailed at ahmadayaz08@gmail.com.

I remember Hokarsar, as the world-famous wetland -one time safe, convenient and proper habitation for a number of birds. Living in the Hokersar neighborhood, we now see the poor migratory birds trying to get into residential areas as they hardly find water in their seasonal habitat. So the plight of the waterbody can only be imagined. Condition of Hokarsar wetland on the Srinagar outskirts is pitiable as of now. Don’t know whether it can really be called a wetland and habitation for migratory birds as the whole wetland area has dried up. I remember Hokarsar, as the world-famous wetland -one time safe, convenient and proper habitation for a number of birds. Living in the Hokersar neighborhood, we now see the poor migratory birds trying to get into residential areas as they hardly find water in their seasonal habitat. So the plight of the waterbody can only be imagined.

Amongst all wet lands in Kashmir, a maximum number of birds used to fly into this wetland land. But alas now it has shrunk and dried up so badly that it can hardly accommodate few thousand birds -with no proper habitation.

One thing is clear that the Wildlife department which primarily looks after this waterbody, is responsible for its plight. The concerned have slept over the issue all these years.

 

It could have been easily maintained well on annual basis provided there was a plan in place. Silting shouldn’t have been allowed and dredging is done from time to time, instead of waiting too long till it got destroyed.

I believe concerned officers need to be made accountable for it. Now that a major plan has been put into motion with huge investment to restore its glory, the process is likely to be time consuming. But can the migratory birds keep waiting till then?

Hokersar has a vast area, which looks to be difficult to be developed for habitation of migratory birds in one go. Instead, it should be done in phases where one phase is completed on scientific basis and made habitable for the guest birds before picking up the next phase for execution.

The huge muck and soil drawn out as a result of dredging can be sold out through tendering which can fetch quite good amount — the money that can be spared for annual maintenance of the wetland. Well this would need a dedicated and honest team of officials to closely monitor the colossal excavation work

Anyway: Hokersar is part of our living heritage, its conservation needs to be our collective responsibility. And we the people need to be concerned about this iconic wetland, home to Migratory birds, our Guests!

(The Author is a prominent National TV debater and Social Activist.  He can be mailed at @ahmadayaz08@gmail.com.)

[The ideas expressed are his own]

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