Unfinished desilting work chokes Model Colony lakehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/unfinished-desilting-work-chokes-model-colony-lake/

Unfinished desilting work chokes Model Colony lake

Locals had objected to the desilting work saying it would damage the lake’s fragile ecosystem

Once the pride and joy of the residents of Model Colony,the Lakaki Lake of late has turned into a breeding ground of mosquitoes,courtesy the rampant growth of vegetation in and around the lake. Civic officials and local residents point out that unfinished desilting work of the lake has given rise to the foliage.

With the lake being located in the heart of the residential location of Model Colony,the desilting work had earlier raised a controversy as a section of the residents opposed the move. Accumulation of rainwater and its seeping into the groundwater had resulted in the filling up of the quarry,which had later on developed an ecosystem of its own. The accumulation of silt over the years had taken a toll over the health of the lake and resulted in the degradation of the water quality.

The desilting work was undertaken by the garden department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). However,the move was opposed by many who felt the work would damage the fragile ecosystem of the lake,especially the rare algae species of the lake. As a result,the work was halted and could not be finished before the monsoon started.

Post the rains,around 50 per cent area of the lake is covered with wild growth of grass. The semi-marshy land has resulted into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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Local resident Ameya Jagtap blamed the unfinished work for the growth of the vegetation. “Had the desilitng work been completed in time,this problem would not have cropped up. The portion of the lake,where the desilting work was completed on time,has ample water and would suffice for the summer,” he said.

The silver lining in the situation,according to Jagtap,is that the semi-marshy area has become an ideal breeding ground for birds.

Local corporator Neelam Kulkarni said the foliage growth was due to unfinished desilting work. “Portions of the lake have got algae cover and that is because of the release of untreated sewage. The civic body would be issuing notices to the people concerned soon,” she said.

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