Official Apathy Poses Serious Threat To Kashmir's Wildlife

22 April 2015
Rising Kashmir
Nazir Ganaie

Srinagar: Pressing upon the newly formed PDP-BJP government to come up with wildlife protection initiatives, speakers today said the wildlife in Himalaya region of Kashmir was facing serious threats due to human intervention. The speakers said that the lack of proper policies at the hands of the government was worsening the situation and posing serious threat to the flora and fauna of the region. 'There is a lot of intervention from the government officials and politicians when it comes to the wildlife protection across the region,' chairman Wildlife Conservation Fund, Muhammad Shafi Bucha told Rising Kashmir. 'You go the wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries and even in Dachigam National Park, you will find a pathetic situation on the ground. You will find how cruel government and we have been towards disturbing the nature,' he said. Earlier speaking at a function organised by Earth-day Network on World Earth Day at Dachigam National Park, Bucha said that government should take serious efforts to work for the conservation of the region. 'Wildlife conservation is a major challenge that government should look into. They (government) should immediately come up with a mechanism which will analyse the problems that are posing the threat to our wildlife conservation,' he said. The day-long programme was organised in collaboration with Department of Wildlife and Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCF) supported by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Rahat Foundation, Global Environmental Organization (GEO) and Youth Parliament of Jammu and Kashmir (YPJK). Speakers alleged that the 'unwanted' intervention from the political quarters disturb the natural settings in Kashmir, which according to them has also resulted in disastrous situations. 'The unplanned and illegal constructions across Srinagar City is a major concern which government should seriously look into. If it goes unnoticed, the City would be in a serious danger in next the years,' senior journalist and editor-in-chief, Shujaat Bukhari said. He urged government to initiate action against corrupt bureaucrats, who have been involved in turning the City into concrete jungle. 'We know and we have experienced that the Srinagar Master Plan always remains on the paper, rest everything else being done to violate the rules on the ground,' he alleged. He said that that a committee should be constituted to look into the wrongdoings of the corrupt officials and launch a scrutiny at massive level. 'It's an irony when people do mistakes and roam around scot-free,' he said. Former chief biologist, Department of Wildlife, J&K, Dr Mir Mansoor alleged that Wildlife officials are being forced at the hands of political hands to obey the orders which go actually against the nature and anti-wildlife conservation in the State. 'There are growing challenges related to environment, wildlife and forests including issues faced by the people at large due to the September floods,' he said. He appreciated the role of volunteers and assured all possible support to make Srinagar a better place to live in. Coordinator Earth Day Network (EDN), Nadeem Qadri, presented vote of thanks and sought operation from all the stakeholders to support the cause and join hands with Earth Day Network (EDN) and its initiatives for state of Jammu and Kashmir.