Pune : More than one month and no progress at Katraj lake, residents irked over PMC’s inaction

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Katraj: Residents living near Katraj Lake have expressed their concerns over the water hyacinth that has been affecting the area for a long time. The issue was brought to light by NCP Supriya Sule who visited the lake a month ago to check the status of the ongoing work of removal of water hyacinth. The lake has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes that has affected the health of residents as well as animals in the nearby zoo.

While the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had taken the responsibility of removing the water hyacinth, residents were worried about the root cause of the problem. “The water hyacinth is being removed by PMC and they will remove it completely but what about the root cause which is leading to water hyacinth. Again the water hyacinth will grow after months and again a tender will be passed and then it will be removed. So this is a cycle which is going on that must be stopped,” said Prachi Laghate, a resident.

To add to their concerns, residents have reported the discharge of dirty chemical water in the lake that has foam in it and emits a pungent odor. “For the last 8-10 days, dirty chemical water has been discharged into the lake which has foam in it and has a pungent odor. So, the residents are unable to open their doors or go for a morning walk as the smell is very strong,” said Prachi Laghate, a resident of Bibvewadi. 

Taking note of the situation, the work of removing water hyacinth has now been given to the environment department. Mangesh Dighe, Environmental Conservation Officer, assured that the work of removing water hyacinth was underway and over 50% of the clearing work had been done. He added that the water hyacinth would be cleared within a week.

Shridhar Yeolekar, Superintendent Engineer of the Sewage, Maintenance and Repair Department, said, “The work of treating the chemical water and sewage water into the lake will be carried out. For this work the expected cost is ₹5 crores. The work will be completed in one year where the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of 2 MLD will be installed.”

“The water Hyacinth is not the issue but the water discharged in the lake is causing the issue. Now for the last few days some chemical water has been discharged in the lake which has a bad odour. We are unable to breathe as the smell is so strong especially during night and day time. And all this is affecting the health of residents living,” said Hrushikesh Shah, a resident of Lake Town society.

“We have complained several times but the issue is not getting addressed properly. Now after some chemical is discharged in lake water the situation has turned to worst. And it has become so difficult, residents have started selling their flats,” said Smita Mehta, another resident from the area. 

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