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Kalhana’s favorite picnic spot of kings Panzath spring in Kulgam is dying, Is anybody listening?

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By Naveed Bhat

Kulgam: A source of 500 springs and source of water to almost 35 villages the largest freshwater spring in south Kashmir, in Panzath area of Kulgam district is fast losing its opulence to extensive pollution and official apathy.

Panzath is a Village in Qazigund Block in Kulgam, located 12 KM towards East from District head quarters Kulgam and 65 KM from Srinagar.

The spring has been polluted, encroached upon by massive plantation of trees and has been neglected by the government.

Panzath is derived from a Kashmiri word ‘Paanch Hath’ which means 500. According to locals this spring is the source for 500 springs.

The Panzath spring and its tributaries provide water to nearly 35 villages through the supply schemes of Public Health Engineering (PHE) and other water management bodies.

The spring is also famous for trout hatcheries.

The place has got a historical place as well, as Rajatarangini has mentioned Panzath (Pancahasta) as a favourite picnic spot of kings.

According to locals, Panzath was famous for its rainbow trout and other fish species. But due to “rising pollution level and official apathy” the locals fear that they too are dying a slow death.

“I have grown up here and it is painful to see the worsening condition of this spring. The water level has considerably decreased and the government is acting like a mute spectator,” said a local resident of Panzath.

Locals added that the spring might be lost as pollution to the spring has risen dangerously.

Director of  Tourism Kashmir Mehmood Ahmad Shah however told INS that they have already released funds for developing Panzath spring.

“It is to develop as tourists destination in future and the work will begin very soon,” he added.

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