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KMC to take up fish cultivation to check water quality deterioration

Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim has asked officials of the Environment and Heritage department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to take suitable steps for fish cultivation in majority of ponds in the city.

Hakim held a meeting with senior officials of KMC and representatives of state Fisheries department to discuss how to keep water bodies clean and take up fish cultivation in ponds as it is a major step to prevent deterioration of water quality.

"We have already taken up fish cultivation in a number of ponds. The process of taking several ponds under management control has already been initiated. We will take up pisciculture in these ponds also," said Swapan Sammaddar, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Environment and Heritage).

The Fisheries department has agreed to provide training in the most simplified manner to people on fish-farming so that they can earn a living through the initiative. Mayor will hold a meeting with councilors the next month about the plans in this regard.

As per statistics available with the civic body there are more than 3,000 ponds in the city. Sammadar has urged borough executives and the councilors to prepare a fresh list of ponds in their respective areas.

Stressing the need for conservation of water bodies for maintaining the environmental balance , the KMC has stopped giving sanctions to any building coming up on land after filling up of water bodies.

The civic body has renovated some 1,500 odd ponds in the city till date and by applying 496 A KMC Act has taken management control of some water bodies owned privately.

"We have also taken up awareness among people urging them not to throw garbage in the pond as it is an important source of oxygen," an official said. KMC has already designated one separate nodal officer for each of the 16 boroughs to monitor the water bodies and take steps to thwart attempts of filling.

The nodal officer is assisted by the executive engineer and officials of assessment department of the civic body.

The civic body will soon launch a mobile app to keep an eye on illegal filling of waterbodies. The move comes in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directing her government officials to be vigilant against such act and take the issue of water conservation very seriously.

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