BMC floats Rs 16.45-cr tender to clear Powai lake off hyacinths

The plant covers the surface of the waterbody, making it difficult for sunrays to reach the aquatic life, thus draining oxygen from the water bodies and resulting in the deaths of fishes and other aquatic animals.

UNABLE TO control the flow of effluents into the Powai lake, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now floated a Rs 16.45-crore tender to clear hyacinths from the waterbody.

“We have issued the tender and the cleaning has to be done in six months. The last tender was issued by us four years back. We are also working on ways to stop the sewer water ingress. So far, a large amount of it has been contained,” Ajay Rathod, chief engineer of BMC’s hydraulics department, said. The civic body has also installed aerators to infuse oxygen into the lake.

Water hyacinth grows in water bodies that have a high presence of sewage waste. The plant covers the surface of the waterbody, making it difficult for sunrays to reach the aquatic life, thus draining oxygen from the water bodies and resulting in the deaths of fishes and other aquatic animals.

Currently, nearly 25 per cent of the lake is covered with water hyacinths and it has to be reduced to 10 per cent. The hyacinths, other floating vegetation, materials and garbage will be picked up using a harvester or amphibious machine and disposed of at a site specified by BMC, officials said.

Pramod Salaskar, who has been doing research on the Powai lake, said, “What is needed, is to stop untreated sewer water draining into the lake. The BMC is taking steps to contain it, but people, too, should stop doing dashkriya vidhi (10th-day rituals for the dead) at the lake.”

Kamlesh Sharma, secretary of the Maharashtra State Angling Association, which operates from Powai, said hyacinths were growing rapidly and to remove them from the lake surface would be very difficult. “Also, there are many inlets which take sewer water into the lake. This has to be stopped.”

Former MP Kirit Somaiya, meanwhile, said Powai lake beautification and Mithi river cleanliness were “two favourite issues to earn money for the BMC and the Shiv Sena, which has been going on for the last 15 years. It is planned to be continuous and unending process by BMC mafia”.

 

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