Madurai

Water hyacinth chokes Vandiyur tank

Despite various measures undertaken by environmentalists to remove water hyacinth from Vandiyur tank, the regrowth of the invasive species is uncontrollable

Despite various measures undertaken by environmentalists to remove water hyacinth from Vandiyur tank, the regrowth of the invasive species is uncontrollable | Photo Credit: ASHOK R

The Vandiyur tank in Melamadai has almost disappeared under a green cover that puts at stake the health of the waterbody and also poses serious health hazards.

The second biggest tank in the city is now stifled with overgrown water hyacinth, that has spread over one-third of the total water spread area of 572 acres, says D. Raghavan, president of Gomathipuram-Thendral Nagar Residents’ Association.

The tank is a major source of groundwater recharge for nearly 10 wards including Gomathipuram, Thendral Nagar, Anbu Nagar, Anna Nagar, K K Nagar etc.

Despite various measures undertaken by environmentalists in the city to remove the water hyacinth, the regrowth of the invasive species is uncontrollable.

“Speaking of the stench emanating from the tank which is also a mosquito breeding hub, we have sought for a sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage water of Aathikulam channel that enters the tank so as to arrest the wild growth of water hyacinth, as it flourishes only in contaminated water,” said Mr Raghavan.

“We have also urged the PWD to increase the water-holding of the Vandiyur tank and reclassify it as a drinking water tank,” he added.

A member of the DHAN foundation said that water hyacinth is an invasive aquatic species which increases evapotranspiration–the process of water evaporating from leaves through plant transpiration during photosynthesis–leading to faster drying up of water.

He called for stoppage of the illegal discharge of sewage from households through underground pipes.

Last month, Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan in the Assembly said sanctions have been made for desilting the tank and that works to set up recreational activities like boating will be initiated.

Every party that comes to power proposes different schemes and makes tall promises, but mostly it remains on paper, claimed M Rajan, chief organiser, Vaigai Nathi Makkal Iyakkam.

“Authorities concerned must also keep a check on the lorries that collect sewage from choked septic tanks and release the waste into the tank early in the morning or late at night. This affects the groundwater as well,” he said.

The DHAN foundation member suggested that during the dry season, a phase-wise desiltation process needs to be carried out to know the original water capacity of the lake.

Next, transforming the tank into an eco-sensitive recreational space is essential for people to create a bond with the tank, he said. The tank was an important bird watching site earlier, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 9:19:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/water-hyacinth-chokes-vandiyur-tank/article65416425.ece