The Telegraph
Saturday , May 3 , 2014
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Why great golf doesn’t amuse the fish
- Beldih Lake water level plummets, Jusco ‘in the dark’

Grass is more precious than fish. That’s the situation at one of Jamshedpur’s most posh and scenic areas, the landmark Beldih Golf Course standing cheek-by-jowl with Beldih Lake.

Water from the three-acre artificial reservoir is merrily being pumped and sprinkled all over the six-acre golf course in the height of summer.

Outflow is also much larger than the inflow. If water is pumped out of the lake thrice a day, it is replenished from river Subernarekha in a trickle through a single inlet, while extra three tanks are running dry.

Though civic guardian Jusco claims it does not know water is being drawn from the lake to sprinkle on the golf course, unrestricted draining from the reservoir has Jamshedpur Angling Club authorities alarmed.

“Right now, water is being pumped from the lake thrice, in the morning, afternoon and evening. The depth of the lake is between 3ft and 4ft, down by at least half of its earlier level of 8ft when it was desilted and refilled early last year,” claimed a senior member of the angling club.

“If this (pumping out water from the lake for the golf course) goes on, it will pose a serious threat to its aquatic life, including fish such as katla, rohu, kalibos, mrigal, tilapia and catfish,” he added.

His apprehensions are not unfounded.

“For any artificial or natural reservoir, the water level can’t dip below 3-4ft during summer. With temperatures hovering around 42°C, decrease of water level below 3ft can lead to fish mortality. Water bodies should stay at temperatures between 26°C and 32°C, which needs a minimum depth,” East Singhbhum district fishery officer Arun Kumar said, adding Beldih Lake, as a privately maintained water body, was outside their jurisdiction.

“Had it been a government-owned lake we would have adopted remedial measures immediately and stopped draining of water for any reasons, golf or otherwise,” Kumar claimed.

When contacted, Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said they did not know water was being pumped from Beldih Lake for the golf course. “I can comment on this only after I look into it. We desilted the lake early last year, and since then, the water level has been satisfactory. I am not aware of any dip in water level,” he said.

Jusco general manager (town services) Dhananjay Mishra, when told about the practice, said: “I will go and inspect on Saturday morning how water is being drawn from the lake to the golf course. In 2013, we installed bore wells for drawing water and sprinkling on the greens.”

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