Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

6/29/06

Tree felling in the Dal

I am dumbfounded by the callousness which the LAWDA (Lakes and waterways development authority) has demonstrated by felling hundreds of thousands of trees in the Dal area. While I support attempts to protect our lake; cutting down hundreds of thousands of trees defies all logic.

A decision of this enormity should have been taken by inviting counter arguments from the general public. To the best of my knowledge the public were not informed of the government's intentions beforehand. No political party had this on their manifesto. So we are left to put pieces together ourselves. I suspect the governement pulled a fast one on t
he residents of Dal. It is a matter of debate whether felling trees will alleviate the problems facing Dal Lake.

The government (minister Qarra and LAWDA) contend that it was the court's decision to rid the Dal of the trees, and that their hands were tied, and hence their inability to intervene in this matter.

I think it was indeed this government's intention to "clean
up" the dal area. While the goal might be sincere, the means of getting there are unfortunately sinister. It is my understanding that the trees were felled to expose any unauthorised structures hiding in their midst. And the goverment, fearing a backlash by people opposed to this action, or seeming to appear as draconian by dislocating thousands of farmers from their lands, preferred to involve the courts.

There may be many unatuhorised structures in the Dal
area, and they should be rightly demolished and the perpetrators fined. But the Dal also belongs to thousands of residents who have been legally residing there for the past many centuries. To take away the livelihoods of the dal residents, who depend on the lake, seems an act of bad faith. This especially when no debates on this matter have taken place in public and the local media is unusually silent on this matter. I am sure there are a multitude of other ways that the Dal can be preserved and beautified. This should involve preserving the floating gardeens and the residents of the Dal area.

That area has a unique culture and charm of its own, and the government should investigate options of developing it, and preserving it.

2 comments:

  1. Nice idea with this site its better than most of the rubbish I come across.
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  2. The Kashmiris' government is not representative of the people so should there be any trees being felled at all?

    ReplyDelete