ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION AND DAL - LAKE BY YAQEEN UL HAQ AHMAD SIKANDEREnvironment comprises of Land, Water and Air. This term is used for immediatesurroundings in which living things grow. Plants, Human beings and animals are all livingthings. They behave in a particular way in different situations. Animals and plants live withgreater integrity and care about their environment much more than the human beings.Humans are constantly altering their environment to precisely suit their way of living. Theydo not care about what they are doing to plants and animals by their behaviour. Thedestruction of the worlds tropical rain forests to create farms or grazing land for cattle,have led to altered climate patterns.The problems facing the environment are vast and diverse. Rapid Industrialization results inthe deterioration of the quality of air. This is happening in almost all urban areas throughoutthe world. In short, the Industrial revolution and modern civilization turn the air we breatheinto a waste basket of dust, mist, odour, toxic gases and smoke. The air pollution affects thehuman health greatly.Prevention of air pollution is not as simple as explained in words. However much of thepollution could be prevented without undue cost by careful planning and setting ofIndustries, better design equipment and better operation of the equipment. There are threemajor means of controlling the air pollution:-1) Fuel selection and utilization: Only those fuels should be used which produce lesspollution and these should also be used judiciously. Alternative sources of energy should beused to prevent air pollution.2) Process changes or equipment: This can be broadly classified into two categories:i) Control of aerosol emissions: Emission of aerosol sprays must be controlled as far aspossible. More and more new equipments have been designed at present to control aerosolemissions.ii) Control of gaseous pollutants: Those gases that pollute the air must be checked andcontrolled. The harmful gases coming out from vehicles must be checked.3) Site selection and zoning: The site selection is the process of locating a single industrialplant. Site selection results in production of a single source of pollution as compared tonumerous emission sources. Zoning is a control measure based upon the knowledge ofmechanics of the atmosphere which acts as the transfer medium.
Now water pollution is another serious problem because sewage and industrial effluents arebeing disposed into the water bodies. This is a serious tragedy of mankind. Water pollutionnowadays is considered not only in terms of public health but also in terms of conservation,aesthetics and preservation of natural beauty and resources. Industrial effluents whendischarged through the sewage system poison the biological purification mechanisms ofsewage treatment and these sewages on subsequent discharge result in pollution of rivers.Waste from agricultural practices such as insecticides and pesticides cause more waterpollution. The prevention of water pollution has been discussed at the end.Soil Pollution, often termed as the "third pollution" is definitely a serious problem equal inmagnitude to that of air and water pollution. About 90% of the pollution of the soil is causedby solid wastes. Land is polluted largely by solid wastes from homes, farms and industries.Hence control measures primarily include disposal of solid wastes which is not easy sincethe economy involved is very high. To make the disposal of wastes economical, recycling ofmaterial is necessary. Disposal of wastes maybe studied under three heads:1) Collection of Wastes: 80% of the total cost of the solid waste management is spent forcollection only. To save time and money, transfer stations must be constructed at variouspoints in a city. Another possible way is the use of pneumatic pipes.2) Recycling of Wastes: Recycling is the most desirable means of solid waste management infuture. Recycling has two advantages:i) Conservation of existing natural resourcesii) And sufficient reduction in the volume of the refuse to be disposed.3) Disposal of Wastes: Dumping is also a popular and inexpensive means of solid wastedisposal. However, there are many disadvantages of dumping and other means have to besought out. Incineration is a solution for solving the solid waste problem. But the cost ofoperations is high and moreover incineration creates air problems. Prolysis (combustion inthe absence of oxygen) is also an acceptable means of disposal. In spite of it all, no cheapand efficient method has been found yet for the disposal of the solid wastes.Now when we talk about our own state of Kashmir, we hear but not see the real paradise onearth. In the recent past, Kashmir was really a paradise on earth, green grass like velvet waseverywhere, clean water lakes and streams, and gardens full of flowers. Smell of differentflowers really made a pleasant sense. Mughal gardens play a vital role in the beauty of theKashmir valley. Dal Lake is the main source of beauty in the heart of the city. It was once avery clear and a much bigger and pure water source. So many house boats are there to paycomfortable attention to the visitors. On one side of the Dal, so many hotels have beenbuilt. Their waste of kitchens and bathrooms is sometimes directly thrown into the Dal Lake.
House boats too add so many types of wastes to this lake. As a result of this waste, the DalLake has been severely polluted and much of the algae and fungi have grown on it.Encroachment of Dal Lake in the form of small and big residential places on the banks of theDal has really diminished its size. In spite of the efforts of the government and the NGOspeople hardly care about the beauty and important of this prime lake.We people have to take every step to ensure the safety of the Dal Lake. The drainage andsewage of the nearby houses and hotels must not be diverted to Dal Lake. People living inthe houses on the banks of the Dal Lake should be rehabilitated and the banks should becleared and developed. Laws should be passed to punish those who are found guilty ofpolluting the Dal Lake by any means. The drainage system of the house boats should be ofthe modern type i.e. having a tank along the boat, along with a modern system of cleaningthis tank frequently. Environmentalists from all over the country must be consulted for thiscause. And this important cause at any cost must not be neglected. People must also takeactive part in this process by joining hands and cooperating with the government and othereco-friendly organisations. If we take these simple measures to save Dal Lake, then only ourfuture generation will be able to view its beauty or Dal Lake will become just an anotherhistory. It’s only the beauty of the Dal Lake that attracts tourists from all over the world toenjoy it but if we don’t preserve this asset then it will soon come to extinction.So to conclude, I have so far discussed briefly about the air, water and land pollution andtheir prevention. And these elements i.e. Air, Water and Soil together constitute theenvironment. In order to save the environment, we must prevent the pollution of air, waterand land. The steps that I have discussed above to prevent the pollution must beimplemented in order to save the environment.(The Author can be reached at www.yaqeenulhaq.info or can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)