NGT asks Environment dept. to submit detailed report to check menace of water hyacinth

Tribunal had earlier pulled up State for delay in initiating measures to check rampant presence of water hyacinth and suggested productive use of plant

Updated - November 05, 2023 12:50 am IST

Published - November 04, 2023 06:15 pm IST - KOCHI

Water hyacinth and garbage obstruct the flow of the Mampuzha, near Kunnathupalam, in Kozhikode.

Water hyacinth and garbage obstruct the flow of the Mampuzha, near Kunnathupalam, in Kozhikode. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Department of Environment to furnish a detailed report elaborating the plans to check the menace of water hyacinth that has choked several waterbodies across Kerala.

The Southern Bench of the tribunal, comprising Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Satyagopal Korlapati, recently pointed out that the action taken report submitted by the department in mid-October is “not comprehensive.” The expert member said that “it has not been spelt out as to how the menace of water hyacinth in most of the waterbodies, streams, rivers of the State will be addressed and how water hyacinth will be treated as a resource for generating various value-added products.”

Water hyacinth in Chilavannur lake in Kochi.

Water hyacinth in Chilavannur lake in Kochi. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The tribunal had earlier pulled up the authorities for the delay in initiating necessary measures to check the rampant presence of water hyacinth. It had also suggested productive use of the plant. The Bench said that the detailed report has to indicate how the water hyacinth problem will be handled in its entirety, along with the cost-effectiveness of the strategies/projects, it said.

R&D wing

The report submitted by the department before the tribunal stated that the Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS), Thrissur, is working on natural fibre craft using the water hyacinth. There is a research and development (R&D) wing that is constantly experimenting with the available natural fibre in the local area. The water hyacinth is collected from the waterbody usually by manual method. The stalk/stem is very fibrous and is used for making different products such as bags, mats, file boards and decorative items.

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