By Farman Karim Baig
Increase in pollution of the famous Attabad Lake in Hunza Valley has endangered the lives of aquatic animals living in the lake, which came into being on the Hunza River as a result of the Attabad landslide disaster in Jan. 2010.
Environmental authorities have apparently turned a blind eye to the lake’s increased pollution as no concrete and visible action has been taken in this regard.
Even though people of the surrounding area are holding tourists responsible for the lake’s increased pollution, yet it has been noted that restaurant operators at the lake’s spillway are dumping waste in the water and on the lakeside. Non-availability of public toilets at the lake’s spillway has also resulted in increased human waste pollution around and in the lake.
Since hundreds of ferryboats travel across the lake on daily basis, it has also been noted that waste oil spilling from the boats is polluting the lake’s water.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Fisheries Department of Gilgit Baltistan had left about 10,000 trout fishes in the Attabad Lake with the aim to breed them in the lake. It is highly feared that if authorities fail to act promptly, the increased pollution would leave the fishes dead.
Serena Hotels Pakistan recently celebrated World Responsible Tourism Day at the Attabad Lake whereby the Green Team of Gilgit Serena Hotel and Hunza Serena Inn and Gilgit-Baltistan Rescue Team 1122 highlighted the day with a cleanup demonstration of Attabad Lake, collecting empty bottles, plastic bags and other waste for the environmental awareness campaign to the boat operators, tourists and commuters on the importance of clean water not littering the lake with waste items.