Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Effluents in Powai lake lead to oxygen-depleting water hyacinth

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Mumbai: Water hyacinth, a floating aquatic plant, has formed a dense mass in Powai lake rapidly as untreated sewerage waste continues to flush in. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been removing this water hyacinth for the last three years through an appointed contractor, yet it continues to spread. One of the officers from the Hydraulic Department of civic body said that the problem cannot be resolved until the sewerage lines are diverted or stopped completely.

The water hyacinth grows quickly in water bodies due to the excessive presence of sewerage waste. The civic officer remarked that the entire lake is spread on 2.23-hectare water land of which 15 per cent is occupied by the water hyacinth. Usually, the weeds of the plant cover the surface area of the lake and make it difficult for sun rays to reach aquatic life, draining oxygen of the water bodies resulting in increasing death of fishes and other aquatic life surviving in the lake.

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Another civic officer stated that a consultant has been appointed recently to carry out a study of sewerage lines needed in the adjoining areas of the Powai Lake. Like on the backside of the lake there is slum from which the sewerage goes directly into the lake making it dirtier. A civic official stated that de-silting of Powai lake is not possible as it would create disturbance of the aquatic life thereby reducing rich nutrients and sediments within the lake. But on the other hand due to no de-silting work carried out, the problem of water hyacinth is increasing which is also endangering aquatic life.