English | Dzongkha Thursday, December 14, 2017

Shrinking Kharul Lake saddens locals

Sonam Wangdi, Phuentshogling
Dec 27, 2014

OysterLakeOyster Lake, locally known as Kharul Lake, under Lhamoy Dzingkha Dungkhag, is believed to be 50-million-years old. It holds spiritual, religious and ecological significance to the locals.

“We believe any untoward activity at the Lake will bring forth calamities in their locality,” said an elderly of Lhamoy Dzingkha, Nar Bahadhur Mongar.

Others believe they should not litter the area. If they disturb the sanctity of the area, they believe there will be windstorm and other natural disasters.

A local, Krishna Bahadhur Chhetri, said even though there are trees around it, the Lake is always clean. “You won’t find a single leaf floating on the Lake…” He said people from across the border also visit the Lake to perform rituals.

The locals perform rituals and make offerings at the Lake to please the deity, annually.

However, the Lake so intrinsically woven, to the lives of the locals is under threat. It has sent a wave of worry among the locals and environmentalists.

“In the past, the lake used to be bigger and deeper than it is now. But it is slowly shrinking and we are not able to understand why,” said a Tshogpa, Krishna Gurung.

A study, by the National Environment Commission, says the Lake is shrinking by the year. It says heavy accumulation of sand along the periphery of the Lake is causing the shrinkage.OysterLake--

Ecologically, the Lake serves as a host for seashells and schools of fishes.

As per the report from the National Environment Commission, the Lake is the last remnant of the Tethyan Sea where sea horse and other sea creatures are still surviving in the fresh water ecosystem.

But, all is not lost yet.

Considering all the significance the Lake holds, the National Environment Commission has carried out a study for protection of the Lake in February this year.

Consequently, they have come up with a set of recommendations and handed it over to Lhamoy Dzingkha Dungkhag.

The dungkhag will be looking for funds and executing the protection works as per the recommendations by NEC.

The lake is situated about 10 kilometers towards north of Lhamoy Dzingkha dungkhag.

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