Hair-cutting Rituals, overuse of fertilizers pose big threat to Surinsar-Mansar Lakes


Tawi, May 02: Rituals of first haircuts of children and -overuse of fertilizers and pesticides reaching the famous Surinsar-Mansar Lakes from the surrounding fields are the reasons for the fast deterioration of the Lakes' water quality and eco-system which in turn may affect the mass mortality of exotic carps too.

It further reads the two times water sampling analysis reveals that during the pre-lockdown period from January-2020 that the value of the parameters is not in the preferable limits such as the value of duo decreases to a larger extent due to an increase in the parameters of the Electrical Conductivity, TDS, Turbidity, Salinity, Chlorophyll.

“Both Surinsar-Mansar Lakes are famous religious tourist destinations with tourists coming throughout the year for performing various religious rituals. Pilgrims arrive to perform ritual bathing ceremonies in the lake each year. Some religious sects come here to perform the ritual first haircut of their sons,” reads the official document.

The issues are mentioned in a management plan preparation and population monitoring of turtles in Surinsar-Mansar Wetland prepared by the Wildlife Institute of .

“All this results in the deterioration of the water quality of the Wetland, which in turn may have affected the mass mortality of exotic carp in Mansar Lake that reached its peak during the months of December-2019 to January-2020.

It says that the unplanned development in and around the wetland has telling impacts on local ecology and biodiversity, like the decline of water bodies, and vegetation, the increase in pollution levels in land, water and air.

The report has suggested adopting holistic approaches in regional planning considering the physical components such as hydrophytes at the fringes of the lake which are majorly missing, shallow areas that are land and water buffers are mostly occupied with concrete structures specifically the embankment.

“The lotuses, water hyacinth, and Typha grass-like floating and submerged vegetation are primordial habitats for several migratory water birds, which have been cleared out by the exotic carp. Even all the submerged vegetation is out-placed by the invasion of lantana and Ipomoea patches,” it reads. These problems destroy the physical serenity of any wetlands and misbalance their ecological stability.

In the meantime, Wildlife Research Warden Dr Samina Amin Charoo in a communiqué to the Director of Wildlife Institute of India Dehradun has said that she was directed to submit the draft management plan of Surinsar and Mansar Wetlands as submitted at the office of chief wildlife warden.

“The standing committee of the department has approved the draft management plan with some recommendations and modifications and the same have been incorporated by Wildlife Warden Kathua under whose jurisdiction the said wetland falls,” reads the communiqué.

The Wild Life Department of J&K has conveyed its acceptance of the document.