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Water pollution threatens Kashmir’s Nadru production

SRINAGAR — The famed Nadru production in Kashmir is witnessing a decline, with growers attributing it to water pollution stemming from drains flowing into water bodies.

Those associated with the business informed the news agency KNO that widespread pollution and the deterioration of water quality have significantly impacted Nadru production across various water bodies.

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

Mohammad Maqbool, 60, a seasoned Nadru grower from Sangam Srinagar, expressed concern over the continuous decline in production over the past 16-18 years. “Both the public and the government are responsible for this negligence,” he said.

He said that drains constantly discharge into water bodies, contaminating the water and contributing to the decline in Nadru production. “Water bodies such as Dal Lake are the source of livelihood for thousands of families, and Nadru has faced a sharp decline in production since the devastating floods of 2014. We used to harvest hundreds of kilograms of Nadru from the lake before the floods. Since then, we have been struggling,” he said.

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The grower said the production has continued to decline over the past few years due to rampant pollution, degrading water quality, and encroachments in the lake. He expressed apprehension that Nadru faces the risk of disappearing from the lake entirely unless substantial measures are taken to restore the water bodies.

Growers also expressed concern over the dilapidated condition of available boats – required to extract Nadru from water bodies – and the unavailability of deodar timber for (boat) repairs, which add to their challenges.

Other cultivators highlighted the impact of excessive water levels, due to which lotus stems remain submerged for extended periods, which weakens the plants and reduces yields.

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Deteriorating water quality in Dal Lake and other water bodies, a result of both excess water and pollution, has exposed Nadru plants to diseases and fungal growth, rendering them unsuitable for consumption, they said.

The declining Nadru production is a concern not only for local farmers but also for the flourishing Kashmiri food industry. The unique texture and flavour of lotus stems are crucial to various Kashmiri dishes, including Nadru Monje and Nadru Yakhni.

Meanwhile, officials said the government is committed to the revival of Nadru. They said large-scale cleaning initiatives in water bodies are underway, and appealed to the public to refrain from littering and discarding waste materials into the lakes.

Kashmir News Observer (KNO) is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and radio and television broadcasters.


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