Pashan Lake and the migratory birds that visit it are something the citizens have been proud of and now they are blaming themselves and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for the mess the water body is in.
Recently,the lake was invaded by fast-spreading weed,pistia—Newsline had reported it on March 6—and experts had said contamination from sewage was the main reason. The PMC,which had initially said it was the less-dangerous water-hyacinth,later agreed it was indeed pistia. But even after that,deweeding has not been done,virtually sounding the death-knell for the ecology of the lake.
Newsline had reported the invasion and its potential threat to the delicate ecosystem of the lake.
Bhanudas Mane,deputy commissioner with the PMC Garden department,who had to be convinced it was pistia and not hyacinth,had assured that deweeding would begin in three days.
A week later,on March 12,when the pistia grew undisturbed,Newsline had contacted Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Zagade. In a text reply,Zagade had said,”They (officers) have informed me that weed removal exercise has been going on. I have told them to finish expeditiously.”
Mane’s answer to four calls by Newsline the following week was,we will soon do it”. In spite repeated attempts,Naresh Zurmure,additional commissioner with PMC,did not answer the call.
On Saturday,when contacted again for a follow-up,Mane said,”We will soon float tenders for the maintenance work at Pashan Lake. As it is March end,our hands are tied. On April 1,we will definitely initiate the process of floating the tender.”