Dead fish in Central Park water raises upkeep query

After months of neglect, the authorities are finally planning to clean up the waterbody in Central Park that has got covered with water hyacinths. There are also plans to revamp Banabitan. Last week, dead fish were seen floating on the surface.

The forest department had started the tender process for cleaning of the pond, said minister Jyotipriya Mallick, at the Banmahotsav celebration there on Wednesday.

Last Friday, morning walkers had complained to the authorities that they had been seeing dead fish in the water for the past four days.

V.K. Yadav, the principal chief conservator of forests, wildlife, and chief wildlife warden, explained that the water hyacinths had reduced the oxygen level in the water to an extent that might have made it difficult for fish to survive.

“We have initiated the tender process to remove the hyacinths. We also need to stop professional anglers who sell the catch to make money,” said Mallick.

He also spoke of plans for a new model of Banabitan. “An allotment of Rs 4 crore has been made for it. We want to rejuvenate Banabitan. We shall plant fruit-bearing and flowering trees and transform it into a beautiful park where residents can relax.”

Forest minister Jyotipriyo Mullick releases butterflies in Banabitan, ahead of an afforestation programme on Wednesday.

Many areas of the park are in serious need of restoration and Mallick said they had identified the portions affected by Cyclone Yaas and started planting trees there. “We also want to turn Banabitan into a no-plastic zone and install solar lights,” he added.

At the event, saplings were planted and more than 100 butterflies released. Banabitan has a butterfly park. Two “tree ambulances” were flagged off to distribute saplings and raise awareness across districts about the importance of planting trees.

The event was also attended by Birbaha Hansda, minister of state, department of forests.

Additional reporting by Sudeshna Banerjee

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