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GANDERBAL: Sonamarg Development Authority(SDA) tuesday launched a special demolition drive through its Enforcement wing. Illegal structures were demolished in the sonamarg market which were raised by the violators. The Sonamarg Development Authority officials led by its field squad (Casual labours)  on the directions of Chief Executive 0fficer, Qazi Sarwar appeared in Sonamarg market and razed the unauthorized structures to ground. Moreover, all the public residing within the SDA jurisdiction are hereby directed not to go for any sort of illegal constructions. As the Enforcement wing will continue with demolition of illegal construction moreover, all the Tipper/Load carrier owners are directed not to carry any kind of construction material in the prohibited area without permission.

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SRINAGAR: The department of Religious Studies, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) is organising a two-day international conference on “Conservation of Environment and Role of Religion,” from July 5-6, 2017 in the Nowgam-I academic block of the varsity. According to the organizers, more than 50 delegates from national and international universities, are participating in the conference organised in collaboration with the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), New Delhi.

Professor (Dr.) Abdullah al-Lheedan, Supervisor Knowledge Exchange, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be the Special Guest while Professor Leonard J. Swidler, Professor Temple University, USA will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural session of the conference. Prof. Mehraj Ud Din Mir, Vice-Chancellor CUK is the patron of the Conference and Prof. Mohammad Aslam Mir, Dean Research and Development is the Chairman of the Advisory Committee.

The organisers of the conference said that in addition to foreign guests, Mufti Nazir Ahmad Qasmi from Darul Ulum Rahimiyah Bandipora will also present his paper on the theme of the conference. Prof. Hamidullah Marazi (Prof. Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi), Head department of Religious Studies, CUK termed this conference as a major development in the field of religious studies. “Religion can play a major role towards solving the grave environmental crisis and it is for this reason that the conference is being organised on this vital topic,” Prof. Rafiabadi said. This is the first ever-international conference in the state, which focuses on environmental issues from religious, ethical and spiritual aspects. The conference is being sponsored by Nigeen Lake Conservation Organisation (NLCO), Srinagar, Dr Naseer’s Group of Unani & Panchkarma Hospitals, Rahim Greens, Srinagar and Meezan Publications Srinagar Kashmir. 

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SRINAGAR: Lakes and Waterway Development Authority has miserably failed to enlighten tourists as well as common people about the ill effects of plastics as ‘irresponsible’ people passing time on the banks of world famed Dal Lake here in Kashmir Capital Srinagar could be seen throwing plastic bottles and polythene into the lake. Known as the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir and Srinagar’s Jewel, Dal Lake is the most important landmark of Srinagar. It figures high on tourist itineraries and every tourist to the Kashmir valley makes it a point to visit the water body.

 

If witnesses are to be believed even, street-side vendors, tea and coffee sellers, shop keepers and traders dump their garbage into the lake before winding up their business during night hours. “Visitors seem to have no knowledge of the importance of ecology and impact of plastics on Dal Lake. Ironically, majority of the visitors mostly youth are educated ones who can give you long speeches over the importance of preservation of this important water body. We can’t blame Tourism Department and LAWDA only, as people ought to understand the implications of polluted Dal,” said an Environmentalist to CNS.

 

Reports said that during the two days of Eid-ul-Fitar, tons of plastic materials were dumped into the Dal Lake by the visitors. Environmental lovers were fumed at the irresponsible and callous attitude of the visitors. Some took to social media to give vent to their frustration.  Senior Journalist and social activist Shuja Ul Haq posted a ‘disturbing’ photograph showing the presence of plastic materials into the Dal Lake. He wrote on his facebook wall:  “Even the apes from Darwin's theory must be angry today, looking at what they have made. I protest against this abuse of my Dal lake. Who else does?”

Covering an area of 18 sq km, the Dal Lake is part of a natural wetland that covers an area of about 21 sq km which includes floating gardens. It’s beauty has attracted filmmakers and over 20 films have been shot in and around the famous water body. Mainstream Hindi films like, Junglee, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Kashmir Ki Kali, Jaanwar, Lamhaa, Yahaan, Mission Kashmir, Dil Se, Kabhi Kabhi, Rockstar and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani were shot or have scenes in which Dal Lake forms the backdrop.

“There are two thing that mar Dal Lake-illegal constructions and pollution. LAWDA is responsible for the mess. Even Court directions that prop up from time to time for the restoration of the pristine glory of this Lake are not being implemented. There is no accountability,” said Rafiq Ahmed who runs an NGO here in Srinagar.