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Chandanagar residents find a way to beat hyacinth with a bettle

Chandanagar residents find a way to beat hyacinth with a bettle
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he residents of Chandanagar seem to have found a novel way to beat the hyacinth scare at Gangaram Pedda Cheruvu in Serilingampally mandal through a weevil which is nothing but bettle and considered a natural enemy of Hyacinth

Chandanagar: The residents of Chandanagar seem to have found a novel way to beat the hyacinth scare at Gangaram Pedda Cheruvu in Serilingampally mandal through a weevil which is nothing but bettle and considered a natural enemy of Hyacinth. It all came about when the members of Gangaram Lake Restoration Foundation (GLARE) met Dushyant Baghel, CEO, Nucleome Informatics from Weed Research Institute of India, Jabalpur.

This team specializes in bio-control of weeds. They suggested the use of a Weevil (Neochetina eichhorniae) to control growth of hyacinth. Dr Susheel Kumar, Dr Dibakar Ghos from ICAR- Directorate of Weed Research Center, Jabalpur and Dr Madhavi from PJATSAU, Hyderabad personally visited the lake and provided the bio-control agents which were introduced in the lake. Dr Susheel Kumar said that, “This weevil is a natural enemy of Hyacinth, it feeds only on water hyacinth leaves, which gradually turns brown and dies, even the flowering ceases”. This entire process takes around 8-12 months.

Currently in Gangaram lake we have enough F1 weevil population i.e. first generation which can grow further to feed on hyacinth. Weevil colonies when fully grown will not let Hyacinth grow beyond certain limit. The lake played host to many indigenous and migrant birds making it a scenic beauty with a healthy ecosystem. Rapid urbanization has resulted in an increase in the number of residential colonies and commercial activities around the lake. This led to releasing of drains and sewage water from the surrounding colonies to the lake, dumping of plastic and other waste, and encroachment by land sharks.

“The lake has a lot of significance since the Nizam’s era and is one of the largest lakes in Hyderabad. Gangaram Pedda Cheruvu was a source of irrigation for agricultural lands and also a source of drinking water for residential colonies around the lake. With abundant fish, the lake was also a livelihood for several fishermen,” said Sriram, a resident of Chandanagar. Experts like Subbarao (SOUL), GHMC additional commissioner (Lake restoration) have suggested that every water body with untreated industrial/domestic waste inlets needs to have water hyacinth in a certain proportion as it can absorb heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, nickel) & nitrates, phosphates etc.

BY Mohammed Hussain

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