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WUCMA celebrates World Wetlands Day

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Awareness Programmes organized to highlight importance of Wular Lake

Sopore: Wular Conservation and Management Authority celebrated World Wetlands Day at Asia’s largest fresh water lake Wular lake by organizing various programmes at Watlab Ghat here in north Kashmir’s Sopore town.
During the programme stakeholder consultation conference was held to discuss and find the mechanism to address the issues confronting the lake.
The conference was chaired by Irfan Rasool Wani Coordinator WUCMA. It was followed by sanitation drive in which local boatmen were deputed to Wular to pick up floating waste from the lake surface. Another programme was organized at Leharwalpora ghat in Bandipora district in which illegal fishing traps were dismantled.
Highlighting the importance of programmes, Coordinator WUCMA, emphasized the need to keep lake clean and free from waste as the same water is used for drinking purpose. He said that WUCMA has formulated a proposal to purchase waste from boatmen onspot collected from lake.
He said that cash will be provided in lieu of plastic waste collected from water body. On dismantling of fishing traps, he said that this initiative has been taken up on the request of Fisheries Department. The fishing traps which are set using willow branches and nylon net have been found to severely affect hydrology and water quality and have been banned within Wular boundary. He requested people to refrain from this destructive activity.
Pertinent to mention, WUCMA is currently implementing eco restoration project of Rs 200 cr for Wular lake approved by the UT administration under which 3.10 sqkm area of critically silted area of lake will be restored and 65 lakh cum of silt will be dredged out. The plan has other components such as catchment conservation, ecotourism development and biodiversity conservation. At present, works are going on under all components and the plan is expected to be completed by end of next financial year.This ecorestoration project will not only revive lake but is expected to create lot of employment opportunities for people living in and around lake.
The officials who attended the programme were Mudasir Mehmood Coordinator CAT, Zahid Moghul DFO Kamraj, Muneer Ahmed, Assistant Director Fisheries, Ahzaz Pujwari Deputy Director Forest Protection Force, Mohammad Ashraf, AEE WUCMA.

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