● TT: How bad is the scenario in Jharkhand?
Sharma: It is a deteriorating trend in major cities, visible in every component of the atmosphere, soil, water and air
● What are the main reasons behind this?
The most important factor is unrestricted urban vertical growth. Wetlands have shrunk, which has affected plant and animal life. Pollution by industries and domestic sewage are the other factors
● How has this affected flora and fauna?
We can hardly find native species of plants like ficus, fig and peepal. These have been replaced with exotic and invasive species like Australian babool, acacia and lantana, which do not have the capacity to regulate temperature and increase water holding capacities
●How has water bodies been affected?
A large number of ponds have been filled and encroached upon for housing. There has been a composite change in aquatic species. One hardly finds fresh water snails nowadays
● How important is Jubilee lake for Jamshedpur?
It acts as a thermo regulator. There is less heat and pollution as hot air goes up along with suspended particles
● What led to the recent fish deaths?
Because of civic neglect, water level shrunk and algae bloomed. There was an influx of toxic pollutants from domestic and industrial sewage. This led to depletion of dissolved oxygen causing fish to die
● What about Subernarekha?
Industrial and agricultural sewage are killing it
● In the monsoon, we see frequent flash floods.
Slag dumping and unbridled sand mining has led to the the river becoming shallow and its banks narrow. This leads to frequent floods
● Migratory birds have stopped coming.
That’s because of disturbances caused by boating and pollution
● Who is responsible for poor state of Jayanti Sarovar at Jubilee Park?
The corporate sector has stopped caring, regulatory bodies such as the state pollution board have stopped monitoring. The high court has taken suo motu cognisance of the fish deaths. May be we’ll see a revival of the lake now.