The Telegraph
Saturday , January 18 , 2014
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Clean sarovar? Not quite there

- Filth and sand choke Jubilee Park lake despite Jusco clean-up

Jayanti Sarovar is again on the sick bed, er sludge bed.

Despite an ongoing clean-up drive by Jusco, the 20-acre Jubilee Park reservoir is back to its mucky self with sand, filth and algae choking large tracts of the aquatic landmark in the heart of Jamshedpur. The level of water towards the two inlets of the lake is barely one to two feet. A thick layer of sand, silt and mud can be clearly seen from above.

The remaining portion of the water body, a lovely haunt for picnickers, is in an equally unkempt state. Deposition of silt and garbage — the two inlets, each five-feet deep, bring in waste from the city — have reduced the depth of water at the centre of the lake from nine feet to around three feet. The flanks, where the water level used to be around six feet, now have a depth of one to two feet.

Although Jusco cleaning vehicles were spotted at the lake on Friday too, they remained mostly idle.

Members of Jamshedpur Angling Club, who visit the lake regularly, agreed, saying that the Tata Steel subsidiary appeared to be paying lip service to the cleaning job.

“Only one side of the inlet near the old court has been cleaned, while the other side has not been touched. The large tract of sand and mud remains. Even heavy showers for an entire day cannot submerge it. Half-hearted cleaning measures are also being taken near the inlet towards Tata zoo-end,” said a functionary of the angling club.

Anglers are worried that the low level of water will restrict movements of fish.

“Sand, silt and less water restrict movements of aquatic life besides slowing the growth of small fish as they fall prey to predators. This apart, one-way flow of water due to accumulation of sand and waste has led to formation of algae. Algae in small quantity are good for fish. But excess algae cause the PH level of water to go down, which is harmful for fish,” the angler added.

Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said they were aware of the problems, but were waiting for the picnic season to end start cleaning the banks of the lake. “We have an action plan for cleaning the banks. But it will be futile to start it now, as picnickers throw plastic waste and garbage. We will start the massive cleaning drive once the picnic season is over,” he said.

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