Rewalsar (Mandi): Fishes in the sacred lake here are threatened by the very piligrims who come to pay obesiance at this holy township and pollute the clean waters by their religious offerings.
Baisakhi falling on 13th April is an auspacious day when a large number of pilgrims are expected at Rewalsar for a local fair but the local administration has failed to come up with a solution for protecting the holy lake and its fishes from the onslaught of pilgrims.
Only last year tons of fishes in the lake had died but no preventive steps have been taken either by tourism department, local body or the the district administration to protect the water body and its fishes.
The Nagar Panchayat has moved a proposal for installing aerators but it still awaits approval and funding.
Labh Singh Thakur, president of the panchayat says, “we need an aerator to increase the oxygen level in lake water but we lack funds for installing and operating it. We are trying to get financial assistance as well as generating our own funds for conservation of the lake so as to protect the fishes.”
Howerver, Himachal Pradesh Wetland Development Authority has come forward and provided financial assistance of Rs 38.93 Lakh to the forest department for conservation of lake catchment area, but the project is only getting started.
With the district adminstration having failed to take any preventive steps, the Rewalsar Lake Development Society, an NGO, has stepped in and is serious about ensuring that pilgrims during the Baisakhi religious festival don’t feed the fish in the lake. They plan to deploy volunteers for desisting pilgrims from polluting the holy waters.
Ashwani Kumar, the sub-divisional magistrate of the area said that feeding to fishes will be in a controlled manner during the Basakhi fair.
He said that oxylator for increasing the oxygen level in the lake during the festival days were not yet available.
The Rewalsar lake is considered holy by Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh pilgrims.