Tuesday, June 15

Kolkata: Green activists meet Lake morning walkers to discuss conservation

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Paschimbanga Vigyan Mancha (PVM), a platform of rationalists that promotes scientific temper among citizens, has decided to take up a long-term awareness programme at Rabindra Sarobar so that the the violation of the National Green Tribunal order on the day of Chhath is not repeated next year. Members gathered near the Lake to speak to morning walkers about their objective on Wednesday.

“It was apparent that some people were incited to break the lock and barge into Rabindra Sarobar to flout the ban on religious and cultural activity at the Lake that is present in the national conservation plan. As thousands trampled the grounds, poured oil, ghee and milk into the water, Rabindra Sarobar’s resident flora and fauna suffered. The death of fish, a turtle and a parrot that have been recorded since Sunday hints at a possible decline in biological oxygen demand in the lake’s water. We have taken a sample to test. Once the results arrive, we will outline a strategy to help restore the water’s quality,” said PVM general secretary Sk Suleiman.

PVM has, for three decades, been raising awareness on the need to save wetlands and water bodies, and plant trees. On June 16, the organisation celebrated World Wetlands Day at Rabindra Sarobar.

“Rabindra Sarobar is a biodiversity hub in south Kolkata. It attracts hundreds of bird species and several dozen fish and mammals. Lakhs use the lake each year while respecting this biodiversity. We have to make the few who broke the law understand why Lake is important to the city so that they don’t act mindlessly next year,” said Suleiman.

Members of the morning walkers’ association at Rabindra Sarobar joined PVM in the awareness drive. “The violation of the NGT order is a failure of the administration to enforce the rule of law. We, as concerned citizens, are also responsible for not having created enough awareness to prevent the Lake from being violated. We will do all we can to raise awareness while also seeking legal protection for Lake,” said Sumita Banerjee, an activist.

 

Source: Times of India

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