Pollution Threatens Nadroo Production In Dal, Nigeen Lakes


(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Srinagar- The production of Nadru (Lotus Stem), a quintessential part of Kashmiri cuisine, has gradually declined as a result of the direct disposal of garbage and human excreta from the surrounding locations into Dal Lake, one of the most popular and sought-after tourist attractions in Srinagar.

Likewise, Nigeen Lake, once renowned for its crystal clear waters and scenic beauty, has seen a drastic decline in Nadroo production, with its harvesters attributing the steep decline to the increasing pollution levels and rapid urbanization.

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Growers said that each passing year sees a further decrease in production as the water quality is worsening due to heightened pollution levels.

“Despite challenges and severities I have been harvesting Nadru for three decades, but the production has undeniably declined as depth of Dal Lake has reduced to such an extent that I'm not sure we would be able to harvest Lotus Stem after ten years,” Ashraf Ahmad, a Nadroo grower,
told Kashmir Observer.

“Drains constantly discharge into water bodies, contaminating the water,” he added.

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He claimed that because of the alteration in flavor brought on by pollution in Dal Lake, the market value of Nadur has also been impacted.

Environmental experts blamed both the authorities and the residents for poisoning the twin lakes, asserting the outcome may have been different, had they paid careful attention to the deteriorating state of Dal and Nigeen Lakes.

Besides waste, siltation is a significant factor in lowering Dal Lake's depth, according to Dr Khurshid Ahmad, a microbiologist at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST-K). He noted that siltation has been occurring in Dal Lake over time, and that this process will undoubtedly have an impact on its inner layer.

“In addition to plants of distinct varieties growing deep within the water, algal weeds are another factor reducing its depth,” he told Kashmir Observer.

“These lakes-Dal and Nigeen-are in danger of going extinct, according to periodic studies, and that's before we even discuss the reduction in Nadur production.” said Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo, an expert on the changing patterns of Nigeen and Dal Lakes.

The direct disposal of thousands of metric tons of garbage and human excreta from the surrounding areas, he claimed, ruined Dal Lake, although Nigeen Lake's condition has not yet gotten to that of Dal.

The facts supporting the decline in Nadur output, he claimed, were that the build-up of huge garbage and solid waste had caused both lakes' depths to diminish, making Nadru taste differently.

“The situation of Dal and Nigeen Lakes would deteriorate with each passing day until we, as citizens, recognize the serious challenges they confront. Our valley's distinctive character stems from these water bodies. How on earth could we let them become extinct?” Wangnoo told Kashmir Observer.

Notably, Nadroo harvesting entails a meticulous and labor-intensive process. It
grows on the marshy bogs of the freshwater lakes in the area, such as Nigeen and Dal Lakes in Srinagar. Beneath the water, the Nadroo has a maximum height of four feet.

In the present times, Nadroo harvesting has become increasingly challenging and hazardous for the growers. The harvesters are exposed to polluted water, which poses significant health risks. Direct contact with contaminated water can lead to skin irritations, respiratory problems, and other illnesses.

“It's not everyone's cup of tea to dive deep into the lake and
brave all weather conditions to get Nadroo from deep within Dal Lake's contaminated water,” Ashraf said.

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