Fish to test troubled Gomti waters

LUCKNOW: A new home or a death trap? Scores of fish will undergo a testing time on January 17 when authorities would set free hundreds of them in the waters of the Gomti as a symbolic gesture to showcase their concern for the river.

Sources said that drive to get the river clean would be launched on the day in the presence of chairman, state advisory council, SC Mishra, and urban development minister Nakul Dubey. While many such programmes have been planned for the day, all eyes would be set on the event when fish would be set free in the river which has a number of locations with alarmingly low dissolved oxygen levels.

Official sources in Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) said that in all probability, fish would be set free in Kudiaghat where waters near the site happens to be clean and therefore there would be no problem. ‘‘Moreover, aquatic life faces problem only when there is considerable drop in the water levels even as polluted water continue to surge from the culverts draining into the river,’’ the official said.

Incidentally, the drive appears to be launched two days after chief minister Mayawati birthday and three days before the much awaited sewage treatment plant (STP) expectedly gets operational.

Sources said that that the day would see people from various non-government organisations (NGOs) and school children thronging the banks of the river, which has attained notoriety for being one of the most polluted river.

Officials said that people from NGOs and school children have been called upon as part of the mass awareness programme planned by the state government.

LMC sources said that the river would be divided into sectors as part of the cleanliness drive.

The river which stretches for a distance of around 14 km within the city, would be divided into four sectors each being headed by an official of at least deputy municipal commissioner. This was done earlier also when an official of the level of additional municipal commissioner was given the charge of heading a section.

This would be for the second time within a span of two years when a drive to get the river — which is acclaimed as a lifeline of the city — cleaned has been launched. The drive was launched with much fanfare in 2008 after chief minister Mayawati expressed her concern over the state of the river. Ironically, the drive could not maintain its momentum and died down after few months, even as agencies were appointed for the purpose.

from TOI

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