Despite all the big talks and campaigns on the deprivation of environment and degradation and drying up of water bodies there is hardly any respite for such eco-system in Jammu region. The region once boasted a large network of ponds and other water bodies and which provided drinking water to the people and maintained the much needed eco-balance, but today most of them are in a state of neglect and signs of apathy. Jammu city itself had many water bodies even at mohalla levels today they are just stories of the past. There has been a desperate appeal to the agencies for saving these lungs of the nature but no action has been taken from their end. Surprisingly some of the localities bear the testimony of them being named after the ponds they had like Ban Talab, Talab Tillo, Khatikan Talab, Rani Talab, and Bahu Talab. While the names remain today, but not a single pond exists, as they have either been encroached upon or turned into garbage grounds. The rare species once living in these ponds have also disappeared. Besides, a good number of water-borne plants added to flora and fauna of the region have vanished. Green grass and natural vegetation used to grow around these ponds and served as a habitation for fowls. These ponds once have been an educational source for many scholars. The story is same with the only wetland of the region at Gharana in the R S Pura area. Today the wetland has turned into concrete jungle with unchecked encroachment and constructions which has literally has stopped the seasonal avian migrants during winters from far off Russia and Siberia cold desert. The wetland has been the breeding ground for the winged visitors for years together. Today the shrinking wetland areas under encroachments has forced many to look for other wetlands in nearby areas of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Days are not far when this Gharana wetland too would turn into part of the history and the coming generation would remain deprived of the large seasonal winged migrants who used to make the villages a tourism attraction.
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