PMC fails to curb hyacinth growth

Water hyacinth, which appears mainly at the onset of winter, has completely covered the lake in Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj for over two weeks. Despite Pune Municipal Corporation’s repeated cleaning activity, the hyacinth has multiplied its growth and the PMC is trying to find a permanent solution to solve the problem.

Local people who stays near the Katraj lake, said that the lake now looks like a golf course or a cricket stadium. It has been in this condition for the last two weeks and no action has been taken by the authorities. This dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants and starves the water of oxygen, often killing the fish. The hyacinth also creates a prime habitat for mosquitoes, the classic vectors of disease.

According to all people, the hyacinth multiplies its spread rapidly and the authorities have failed to curb its growth and spread at the onset. The PMC will now have to physically remove the entire hyacinth. However difficult and time consuming the process is, they must take measures to clean the lake immediately. The Garden Department and Health Department of PMC have drawn up plans to remove the hyacinth but believe that a permanent measure needs to be sought. The root cause of hyacinth is the sewage water that runs into the lake. If the drainage is diverted, this problem could be solved. Chief Garden Superintendent, have conducted a joint meeting with the concerned authorities who were trying to evaluate the situation.

According to him, regular cleaning is done but hyacinth spreads with wind, which leads to its multiplication. He added that they are going to physically clean the lake but a permanent solution is needed to entirely curb the growth of hyacinth.

Source: Sakaaltimes, Nov’14

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15 species of fish vanish from Pune’s rivers

Condition of the water bodies in the city is very precarious. The sharp decrease in the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and the decrease in the water levels in the river in the last few years have resulted in the disappearance of 15 native species of fish from the rivers of Pune.
City-based environmentalist Parineeta Dandekar said a report prepared by a city-based NGO, prepared a few years ago, had pointed out the disappearance of 15 species of fish from the rivers of Pune. Mahseer was once the native of Pune’s rivers. But now, it has vanished from the waters completely. The aquatic eco-system, other than supporting many aquatic creatures, also helps in cleansing the river. The destruction of the eco-system results in the loss of the river’s capacity to cleanse itself properly.
Other than the sharp increase in the levels of water pollution in the rivers, the water levels in Pune’s rivers has been going down rapidly. A major reason for this is the presence of the four dams, which prevent the completion of the life cycle of the fish.

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Need for eco-friendly ways to remove water hyacinth

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is trying to explore the use of bio-treatment technology to prevent the growth of water hyacinth in the Pavana, Mula and Indrayani rivers. Earlier, the civic body had appointed private contractors to remove hyacinth, which obstructs flow of water and also causes health problems.
The civic body is trying to use environment-friendly measures as they have been successfully used in other parts of the country, such as in the famous Dal lake in Srinagar.
Every year, aquatic life is affected due to rampant growth of water hyacinth. Residents along the banks of these rivers have to suffer from mosquito menace. There should be no delay in the work of removal of water hyacinth.

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Fish Found Dead In Katraj Lake

Several fish in the Katraj lake were found dead on Friday 17th Nov’12. The director of the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park’s informed that several fish were found dead in the Katraj lake located inside the park.
Water samples from the lake were taken on Friday and sent to PMC laboratory. Various parameters will be analyzed from the water samples at the laboratory. The report is expected on Saturday.
The director of the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park’s said, “At present, the lake is covered with water hyacinth. It could have affected the fish. Boating has also been stopped now. But we have to confirm. The report will help us know the exact cause.”

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Birds turn to polluted rivers and feeding on toxic fish

There has been a significant rise in the number of resident birds turning to the polluted waters of the Mula and Mutha Rivers in search of food and habitat since fresh water bodies around the city are drying due to scanty rainfall. These birds are increasingly feeding on a fish species called tilapia, which accumulates heavy metals and other pollutants in its tissues, and may, therefore, be toxic.
Satish Pande, ornithologist and founder-president of Ela Foundation, an NGO devoted to nature education and conservation and Anand Padhye, associate professor of Zoology, Garware college said there has been an increase in the number of birds such as the painted storks (threatened species), grey herons, Glossy Ibis, White Ibis and a few Egret species on the Mula-Mutha rivers. Usually these birds avoid the Mula-Mutha on account of human disturbances here, restricting themselves to fresh water bodies which are relatively pollution-free. Mula and Pavana are polluted with industrial effluents, while Mutha has sewage waste. But, the delay in rainfall and the consequent drying up of water bodies has pushed these birds towards the Mula-Mutha. The situation is worrisome as the birds are feeding on Tilapia, which has a lot of polluted matter in its body. If the amount of pollutants in the fish is huge, then it can cause the birds to die or even affect their breeding processes causing the egg shells to break prematurely. Consumption of Tilapia can thus prove to be harmful to these birds. Neelesh Dahanukar, an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) fellow, said that Tilapia can survive in polluted waters, while studies have shown that heavy metals such as lead, zinc, copper among others, present in a polluted water body enter the fish’s tissues. Higher organisms eating the fish will therefore have these metals accumulated in their body. “Scanty rainfall leads to an increase in the concentration of the organic matter in the river, eating up all the oxygen. Furthermore, if the Tilapia in these water bodies has high amounts of toxic matter, then the birds consuming such fish can even die” said Hemant Ghate, head of the Zoology department at Modern College.

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