Staff Reporter

No permanent solution yet to wipe out the weed at Akkulam

Lack of funds prevents DTPC from removing all water weeds from the lake

Two plants could multiply to 1,20,000 in just four months

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Although the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has been successful in removing water hyacinth partially from Akkulam lake to resume boating operations, a permanent solution to wipe out the water weeds is yet to be found.

The DTPC, which manages the village and boat club, had created a waterway in the lake during the two-day cleaning drive carried out at a cost of Rs.20,000 to resume boat operations.

Lack of funds had prevented the DTPC from removing all water weeds from the lake.

More tourists expected

The DTPC has pressed into service two safari, two row and one pedal boat for the tourists who had started trickling in for a cruise ride. The boats can now proceed through the waterway created in the lake all the way up to the adjacent Veli tourist village, according to DTPC Secretary K.G. Vijayakumar.

The authorities are hoping that more domestic tourists will turn up for cruise ride in the village in the coming days. The work for carrying out the maintenance of another five boats to cater to the needs of the tourists had already been awarded.

Unsuccessful attempts

The attempts to get rid of water weeds from the lake, one of the main tourist attractions, have not been successful despite spending a lot over the years. Mr. Vijayakumar said the bund constructed for taking up the work of the Akkulam bridge on the NH 47 bypass is leading to drifting of weeds to the village. The efforts of the DTPC to remove the bund had not been successful till date.

Bund

The DTPC Secretary, in a letter to the District Collector, pointed out that the bund restricts free flow of water from the lake to the sea, which ultimately results in multiplication of waterweeds.

Invasive species

It has been pointed out that Eicchornia, an invasive plant species which thrives in impure water, multiply rapidly and is a threat to boats. Two plants could multiply to 1,20,000 in just four months.

Biological and chemical methods to check the spread of the water weeds had been listed out in the note submitted to the District Collector. Mechanical removal of the water hyacinth is costly.

Garbage

The assistance of the Southern Air Command needs to be sought for removing the garbage from the tourist village and nearby places with people’s participation and that of the district administration.

Biogas plant

Setting up a biogas plant at Akkulam and launching of awareness programme among the locals to prevent dumping of waste had also been mooted in the note.

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