Millennium Post

Steps to make Lake litter-free

Kolkata: Stressing on the need for biodiversity conservation in and around Rabindra Sarobar, state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim on Friday took part in a major awareness initiative about the do's and dont's there based on the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

As per judgement of the green bench, littering in or around the lake, bathing in its water, using excessive bright lights around it, washing clothes or utensils, emitting sounds that disturb the birds in the area and entering the lake premises with any kind of plastic bag is forbidden. The minister walked from the gate of Rabindra Sarobar till Nazrul Manch auditorium and took part in a programme aimed at generating awareness among citizens. The minister planted a tree beside the auditorium as a token of the green initiative being carried out by the KMDA there. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will undertake a padayatra from Rabindra Sarobar on August 1 spreading the message of forest and water conservation (Jangal Bachao, Jal Bachao). Officials of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), the custodian of the sprawling artificial waterbody in South Kolkata, replaced old banners and signboards placed at different spots on the bank of the lake with biodegradable ones. "The NGT has recommended planting of indigenous trees of around nine varieties like hijol, jarul, asatha, neem, etc surrounding the lake. We are following the guidelines of the green bench," a senior official of the KMDA said.

Firhad Hakim said Subhas Sarovar in Beliaghata in the eastern part of the city has also been beautified in the same pattern as that of Rabindra Sarobar. Apart from the area around Subhas Sarovar where work for the East-West Metro project is on, the remaining part has already undergone beatification. "Both these places are ideal for morning walk as you will get fresh oxygen. So we have given equal priority," Hakim said.

It may mentioned that the West Bengal Biodiversity Board has already conducted a study of the rich biodiversity of Rabindra Sarovar where they had stumbled upon a plethora of aquatic creatures and birds.

An exhibition was held inside Nazrul Manch where pictures of the fauna in and around the waterbody was showcased. The minister on the occasion released two booklets to spread awareness about biodiversity conservation and the fauna there. Local MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and Chairman of the State Pollution Control Board Kalyan Rudra were also present.

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