It seems locals and the thousands of visitors to Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park will have to suffer the stink of dead and decayed fish for several more days, as the work of removing water hyacinths is expected to take long to complete.
For the last one week, residents have been suffering the stench of dead fish in the lake. The zoo authority and the garden department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) started work of removing the hyacinths from the lake only after newspapers reported about the dead fish floating in the lake on Saturday.
Civic authorities have deployed two spider booms and around 50 workers to remove the water hyacinths. However, the progress of the work is very slow, as the hyacinths are know to grow at quite a fast pace. Moreover, civic authorities cannot start work of removing hyacinths from all sides of the sprawling lake, as there is marshland on three sides of the lake, leaving only one side accessible for the workers to approach.
At present, work of removing water hyacinths is being done only at the two corners of the lake, while the remaining part of the lake is surrounded by quagmire and thick green cover.
Veterinary officer of the zoo, Navnath Nighot said, “The PMC authority has decided to double the manpower to remove water hyacinths, and around 100 men from the conservancy staff, garden department and the zoo authority will take up the work of cleaning the lake as soon as possible.”
Maqbool Huasin, a visitor to the garden, who came along with his family said, “The bad smell is unbearable, and we are barred from seeing peacock and vulture, as their cage is near the bank of the lake and work is going on there. We thought some work is going on and the bad smell is only temporary, so we did not complain about it.”
Shilpa Shinde, another visitor to the zoo, had to cover her nose with a handkerchief to overcome the stink. She said, “Had I known that I will have to suffer so much of stink at the zoo, I would not have come here at all. The zoo authority should remove the dead fish and water hyacinths as soon as possible, otherwise it would be a major hygiene issue for visitors to the zoo.”