Authorities at the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden allegedly denied state Pollution Control Board environment scientists entry into the 250-year old gardens to collect water samples from the Sadir Lake where hundreds of fish were found dead on Friday.
“Our scientists rushed to the garden to collect water samples from the affected lake for lab tests. Unfortunately, garden authorities denied them entry. WBPCB has the authority to send its scientists to any water body across the state to test contamination levels,” WBPCB chairman BK Dutta told HT. “I think the garden authorities fail to realise the seriousness of the issue,” he added.
However, joint director of the garden Himadri Sekhar Debnath said, “I am not aware of any such development. I will have to check it with my office on Monday.”
Environmentalist Subhas Dutta said that there are 24 lakes inside the garden, each of which is connected with the others and run into the Hooghly. The lake suffers from immense negligence and Dutta has resolved to move the high court in this regard.
According to senior officials at the botanic garden, maintenance and cleaning has ceased in the last eight months. A citybased agency, selected via tender, was entrusted with cleaning the lakes. However, the tender agreement expired in August 2012 and no action has been taken.
“We have written to the ministry of environment and forest seeking its permission to invite tender for the selection of a new maintenance agency. Now, we are waiting for their green signal and till then, there will be no maintenance of the water bodies in the garden,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.