Irrigation dept team pressed into service to clean what collector calls ‘water hyacinth’
BHOPAL : When the state government launched campaign ‘Narmada Seva yatra’ with crores of rupees for the river’s purification, it is surprising for environmentalists and even for the government that the river overnight changed its colour from see blue to green at Hoshangabad, just like any highly polluted river.
It may be due to water hyacinth or Azolla (water ferns). Whatever be the reason, the government machinery is working on a war footing to remove it. The district administration clarified that it was water hyacinth coming floating from Jabalpur. An irrigation department team was pressed into job to remove the hyacinth from the surface of the river.
Water hyacinth is a very aggressive invader and can form thick mats. If these mats cover the entire surface of the pond, they can cause oxygen depletion and fish kills. Water hyacinths should be controlled so that they do not cover the entire pond.
Azolla is high in protein and minerals, fixes nitrogen, is palatable to chickens, pigs, goats, ducks and cows, and can be grown on any closed body of water.
Rejecting theory of Azolla plants, collector Hoshan-gabad Avinash Lavania said, “It is water hyacinth which came floating from Jabalpur and nothing else. However, the irrigation department removed a lot from the water surface. We are trying our level best to remove it.”