Much like every summer, hyacinth menace has returned to gnaw the areas of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Khadki. Currently, three rivers — Pavana, Mula and Indrayani — still have copious amount of water in the grip of the bulbous plant. While Pavana and Indrayani rivers are within the jurisdiction of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Mula flows through the limits of PCMC, the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Khadki Cantonment Board. Pashan Lake, within the jurisdiction of PMC, has also been taken over by hyacinth.
Some of the residents who use the Dapodi stretch on the Pune-Mumbai highway said they are left confused when they gaze at either side of the Harris bridge. “Three days ago, we crossed the Dapodi bridge while heading towards Pune city from Pimpri-Chinchwad. On both sides, the hyacinth had spread over the river. I knew it, but the children were confused. They wondered if it was a sports ground we were crossing. In fact, my son was pointing at it and shouting, ground ground..,” said Sanjay Singh, a resident of Delhi.
The scenario is no different in the other three water bodies too — whether it is Mula river in Balewadi, Sangvi, Aundh and Khadki; Indrayani river in Moshi, or Pavana river that flows through the entire length of Pimpri-Chinchwad, from Nigdi to Dapodi. Residents said the biggest problem they faced was the mosquito menace. “Irrespective of which time of the day it is, mosquitoes make life miserable for residents…,” said Domnic Lobo, a resident of Sangvi whose house is near the Mula river.
Lobo said if civic officials had acted earlier, the problem of hyacinth could have been dealt with on time. Hyacinth starts flowering in January or February, by March and April, they are in full bloom.