Lucknow’s Gomti river turns green with water hyacinth

The Gomti river in Lucknow has turned completely green as it is covered with a carpet of water hyacinth, hampering the unhindered flow of water.

According to a Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) official, one among the multiple reasons behind the unchecked growth of water hyacinth in the river is that the irrigation department has closed the Gomti barrage to recycle water for domestic consumption.

The stretch has two obstructions hindering the flow of the river in form of temporary dams made for the beautification of Gomti riverfront project.

Another reason is around 17 drains are continuously discharging sewage into the river unchecked.

“We have installed ropes at seven places to prevent the hyacinth from reaching the barrage. Three machines, one trash steamer and two poclain machines have been deployed for their cleaning between eight-km stretch of Ghaila to Gomti barrage. But water hyacinth keeps coming down with flow no matter how much we take it out, it comes back within hours,” he said and added that if the Gomti barrage is opened, there will be scarcity of water for supply.

According to experts, the natural flow of the river must be maintained and drains discharging effluent into the Gomti should be tapped to prevent the weed.

Venkatesh Dutta, environmentalist and faculty member at Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University said: “Stagnant water with high nitrogen and phosphorus creates favourable conditions for water hyacinth. To stop growth, more than a dozen untapped drains that are continuously feeding the Gomti river through sewage must be stopped first.”

ucknow University geology Professor Dhruv Sen Singh, an expert on rivers, said: “Water hyacinth doesn’t grow in flowing water as their roots hang in the water underneath the plant and stems are spongy, bulbous stalks that contain air-filled tissues that keep the plant afloat. So, if the flow is high it goes with the flow and dies eventually.”

LMC additional commissioner Pankaj Singh said: “We will increase the manpower to get it cleaned up soon help from irrigation department will also be taken for the work.”




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