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Neglected Pashan lake now a health hazard

Stench from dried up water hyacinth, mosquito breeding at lake poses risk to residents.

pune Updated: Mar 25, 2018 23:19 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
pashan lake,pune,maharashtra
The stink emanating from the lake was intolerable and the situation on ground still remains the same.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Pashan lake, a popular picnic spot among Puneites, still remains neglected with a thick layer of water hyacinth covering it. It has been a month since local legislator Medha Kulkarni visited the Pashan lake after residents and corporators complained that the place has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The stink emanating from the lake was intolerable and the situation on ground still remains the same. The lake has still not been cleaned up.

“Our homes have mosquito coils and repellents burning throughout the day,” said Akshay Bhagat who lives in Shivnagar, located close to the lake. “There are a lot of mosquitoes in the area. Its a menace,” added Bharat Shinde, resident of Mangal Murti society in Sutarwadi.

General practitioner Dr Jagdish Toshniwal, who has a clinic in Sutarwadi, confirmed that there has been a rise in the number of patients being screened for malaria, viral and dengue in the surrounding areas. “There has been an increase in the number of patients visiting my clinic in the past month. On an average, the number of patients coming in for Malaria screening has gone up by five patients daily. They complain of fever, chills, shivering, sweating with headaches,” said Dr Toshniwal.

There was an attempt to clean the lake earlier but the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials simply scooped the water hyacinth and laid it on the banks. Now, the dried water hyacinth looks like a protective layer of the lake.

Local corporators Pramod Nimhan along with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) worker Amit Khanekar also wrote letters to the PMC saying that they would hold a protest if action is not taken immediately.

Assistant health chief of PMC, Dr Vaishali Jadhav, said, “We have already started working to clean the lake.” However, NCP worker and a resident of the area, Khanekar, said that no activity has started on ground. Residents also claimed that PMC has failed to act on their complaints.

Dr Kalpana Baliwant, assistant health officer, said every year tenders are put out to clean the water hyacinth, but its growth is faster than our clean-up process. Besides, we have only two accessible ways to clean the lake and the chemicals that are let into the lake are harmful, but the issue is overlooked.

Pashan lake is a 130-acre wetland with a catchment area and is surrounded by residential areas and defence institutions. The water stored here was used to meet the water needs of the governors estate during the British period. It was built with creating a bund around Ram Nadi, which flows via Pashan, Sutarwadi and Baner. Its water is used to serve the people of Pashan village for growing crops. This lake is also known for migratory birds who visit the lake in large numbers.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 23:19 IST