Gilsar water highly contaminated: Official report

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With authorities failing to put in place measures for conservation of Gilsar lake in Downtown, a report has revealed that its water is highly contaminated. 
The physical and chemical water sample report of the lake accessed by Greater Kashmir points out that water is highly contaminated as it doesn’t comply with BIS standards.
The water test was conducted by Public health engineering (PHE) department after residents living adjacent to the lake complained of severe foul smell emanating from it. Acting on the complaints, the district administration had asked the PHE department to test its waters. 
As per the report, turbidity, water color, taste and odor level of the water samples taken from the lake are exceeding by a huge margin the permissible level under BIS standards.
An official, who was part of the testing team, said its water is highly contaminated. “People who come in contact with it can develop skin rashes and other skin diseases. It can also lead to death if by chance any person consumes it,” he said. 
Farhan Kitab, a social activist, who has been working for restoration of the water body with local inhabitants said that the report should serve as an eye-opener for authorities. 
“Concerned authorities get huge funds for conservation of water bodies, but on ground situation of lakes like Gilsar is deteriorating,” he said. 
Gilsar and Khushalsar are two interconnected lakes which receive waters from Dal lake and gradually flows into Aanchar. Nestled between Hawal and Zadibal areas, these lakes till few decades ago were one of the major tourist attractions and bird watching sites. However in absence of conservation measures, these water bodies have been marred by encroachments and siltation. 
A large expanse of Khushalsar along the Ali Jan road has been extensively encroached upon. In absence of any regulation, shops, automobile workshops and buildings have come up on fringe of the lake. Similarly, extensive constructions on both sides of banks of Gilsar lake have come up.
“Due to official apathy as well onslaught from encroachers, once pristine Gilsar has turned into marshy poisonous pond,” the locals said. 
To mention, a study carried by the Department of Earth Science Kashmir University reveals that Khushalsar and Gilsar have shrunk half their size. The twin lakes occupied almost a square km in 1965 and have shrunk to less than 0.50 sq. Km.
Studies reveal that most of the zones near habitations have become dumping sites of all allochanthus and non- allochanthus materials hampering the flow of waters

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