Growing mosquito menace caused by water hyacinth irks residents of Katraj and Bibvewadi 

Pune : Chemical that kills water hyacinth not yet tested; PMC writes to environmental institute

Pune : Chemical that kills water hyacinth not yet tested; PMC writes to environmental institute ( Representational Image )

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Katraj: The residents of Katraj, and Bibvewadi situated near Katraj Lake, have been facing a persistent issue of water hyacinth growth for the past year. Despite numerous complaints to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the residents claim that the information provided by the PMC about the percentage of water hyacinth removal is inaccurate. The residents of the area have also seen the severe impact of overflowing Katraj lake during the 2018 floods and have demanded that strict measures from PMC in keeping the lake clean and avoid flooding. 

The residents are concerned about the increasing water hyacinth, which is creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes and causing diseases like dengue, malaria. 

Prachi Laghate-Deshpande, a resident of Lake Town society, said, “We have been facing this problem for the last one year, the water hyacinth has been increasing on the Katraj lake. We have complained to PMC about this numerous times but even after water hyacinth is removed, it develops again. And always when residents escalate the issue, PMC initiates the action.”

She added, “We are demanding that PMC should work on the root cause of this water hyacinth. As the sewage and untreated water from Industrial and residential housing societies is being discharged into this lake, due to which the water pollution increases, causing the water hyacinth to grow. If PMC works towards the root cause for increasing water hyacinth and water pollution, it would decrease.”

According to Hrushikesh Shah, another resident, “This problem arises every year, 5 years ago water hyacinth was not an issue but it has raised over few years. Whereas, the major issue is of disposal of sewage water into the water body, which leads to this hyacinth. Therefore, not only the number of mosquitoes have increased but the toxic odours come from it, which is also an issue. We have complained to PMC many times but no permanent solution has been given to this problem.”

Smita Mehta, another resident, expressed her frustration, “The situation here is pathetic, and every time new tender every time new committed but no action, no permanent solution. We have been complaining for so long, but PMC doesn’t take action when the water hyacinth is less. Once it grows, then they come and take action. So, this needs to be changed. Every time a tender of ₹50 lakhs is being passed, and this issue is with every resident.”

The Environmental Conservation Officer of Environment department, PMC, Mangesh Dighe, stated, “Drainage Department of PMC is working towards diverting the sewage water.”

Rani Bhosale, a former Corporator of the area has also expressed her concerns about the rising number of mosquitoes in the Katraj lake area. She has noted that the increased mosquito population has resulted in rise in dengue patients within the area. Despite multiple complaints made to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), no action has been taken to address the issue. As a result, Bhosale recently submitted a letter to PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar stating that if the water hyacinth causing mosquito menace is not removed, the ward’s residents will stage a protest on March 19.

Santosh Tandale, head of the Drainage Department of PMC, said, “Every year, PMC provides funds of ₹75 lakhs for removing water hyacinth. This term, ₹25 lakh extra has been given. We are working towards removing the water hyacinth at the lake, though due to the sewage water, the water hyacinth is growing. The sewage water mainly comes from Katraj Vasahat and Santosh Nagar. We are working towards making a separate line so that sewage water won’t be discharged in the lake. Whereas, under the 15th Economic Commission, a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) plant will be set up.”

Mrunal Jadhav 

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