Pune municipal corporation served notice over Katraj lake pollution

Rampant water pollution in upper and lower Katraj lake, built during the Peshwa era, has left Pune municipal corporation (PMC) with a show cause notice slapped by environment watchdog Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB) for allowing drainage water into two water bodies.

The MPCB action came after Anil Bhosale, Nationalist Congress Party’s member of legislative council, raised the issue of water pollution in lakes located in southern part of the city especially Katraj in ongoing session of state assembly. Replying to Bhosale’s question, environment minister Ramdas Kadam told the house that notice have been served to PMC by the MPCB.

Kadam said, “MPCB officials have completed the site visit at the lake near Rajiv Gandhi zoological park in Katraj and found that the domestic drainage water is getting mixing in the lakes. Through the notice, the civic body has been asked to clarify about how water in Katraj lakes is getting polluted.”

The historic lake is under a thick cover of water hyacinth indicating its high pollution level. The civic administration has failed to clear the water bodies of hyacinth despite carrying out several drives. Meanwhile, the zoo authorities blame it on the development around the lake.

Katraj lake, according to historians, was constructed during the Peshwa era and is spread over 82 hectares. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s corporator Vasant More blames PMC apathy for pollution of lake and said that the sewage is entering the water body from upper parts of Gujarwadi village.

“Earlier, the lake was part of my ward and the city’s major attraction. Bifurcation of Katraj area kept this place out of my ward and now no one is taking care of this lake,” More said.

Recently, PMC had approved Rs10 crore for setting up drainage system at Gujarwadi and Mangadewadi villages, the areas that do not come under the civic jurisdiction. However, despite getting the PMC approval, the ruling party did not start the drainage line works and the water body continues to get choked with sewage.

Lake choking weed

PMC had come under fire from environmentalists as thousands of fish were found dead in Katraj lake due to polluted water in 2012. Hyacinth cover on Katraj lake was suffocating its aquatic life.

Hyacinth prevents sunlight from reaching the waters, thus stopping generation of oxygen, which in turn kills all aquatic life forms.

Due to large amount of hyacinth, people residing in the surrounding areas have complained about contracting diseases like dengue and malaria.

First Published: Nov 22, 2018 15:53 IST

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