Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bloodbath in the Nigeen Lake

While conspiracy theories make rounds, the bitter truth is that Kashmir's lakes are dying both literally and figuratively

Nigeen Lake Fish Bloodbath: Govt blames oxygen depletion

Srinagar: With lakhs of dead fish floating on the surface of Nigeen Lake, authorities here insist they died due to depletion of oxygen level in the lake.

“Even today the oxygen level in the lake was very low. This morning oxygen level in the lake was 2 ppm where as it should have been 6 ppm. Some fish varieties cannot tolerate sudden depletion and they die,” said Director Fisheries Showkat Ali.

He said wavering temperature had adverse affect on different zones in the lake leading to depletion in the oxygen level.

“This happens when a water body is loaded with high quantity of nutrients along with flow of large quantity of untreated sewage, the growth of macrophytes is accordingly very high,” he said.

“When in summer high temperature spell continues the oxidation of nutrients is also very high resulting depletion of oxygen levels in lake. Secondly, due to sudden fall in temperature some adverse effect must have been caused on the fish life,” Ali said.

Nigeen has two fish varieties. One is called common carp and other is trash fish. The trash fish is not consumed by humans but they are in abundance in the lake. It is the trash fish that has faced large scale mortality.

Throughout the day de-weeding machines were cleaning the lake from lakhs of dead fish.

A team of scientists from Centre for Research and Development (CORD) University of Kashmir described the incident as bloodbath. They said they might have died due to sudden fall of temperature. However, they did not rule out human hand in the tragedy.

Conspiracy theories are also floating in the lake along with dead fish.

“I think they might have died because of electric current. Somewhere, high voltage electric line might have fallen in the lake last evening killing both small and big fish in such large number,” said a houseboat owner.

(Kashmir Times)

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