Over feeding killing fish at Mumbai’s Banganga Tank
The fish die because they eat excess of pind (mixture of wheat and rice) from the rituals that are conducted near the tank.mumbai Updated: Sep 21, 2017 12:17 IST
The Goud Saraswat Brahman Temple Trust, who own and run Mumbai’s Banganga Tank clear around one tonne of dead fish from the tank every year a day after Sarva Pitru Amavasya. While this has been a perennial problem, people associated with the cleaning process have said that due to environmental awareness, the numbers have been coming down lately.
“Earlier, we would keep on clearing the tank for two days and still spot dead fish, but lately, the number of dead fish spotted is around 75% less,” said Vijay Ghavali, staff member of the trust, who has been working on this process for 20 years now.
Shashank Gulgule, holding trustee and secretary of the trust, said that the fish die because they eat excess of pind (mixture of wheat and rice), from the rituals that are conducted near the tank. He also went on to add that at times fish end up eating even the hair that people cut around the pond.
“It is a matter of religion and faith, we cannot ask people to not conduct rituals for the death at Banganga. But, on our part, we spread awareness to keep the tank clean, we have also proposed that one-fourth of the tank be used for rituals, while the rest be kept clean. But it is a long process and we will need permissions because it is a heritage site,” said Gulgule.
Gulgule further went to add that at times even sewage water from the neighbouring societies was disposed in the tank, further polluting the water. However, he said that trust is in talks with the local corporator to device a solution, wherein they may open the tank gate to let fresh Ganga water come in.
D-ward officials confirmed that the number of fish deaths have come down, and said that they were working on a slew of measures to protect fish there, which includes getting in clean water, pumping of dirty water, deploying people to clean the tank and putting up hundis to dispose-off waste.
“We have boards instructing people to not put the pind in the water; they could dip it in the tank once and then put in hundi. Though there are some abiding by it, there are quite a few who still put pind in the tank,” said an official.