ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD – By Phoenix

By Phoenix

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

By Divya CM

Divya Sudarsanan

Ratheesh Krishnan

IMK Palayam

 pond is a small area of still, fresh water. It is different from a river or a stream because it does not have moving water and it differs from a lake because it has a small area and is no more than around 1.8m deep. Some ponds are formed naturally, filled either by an underwater spring, or by rainwater – sometimes known as ‘dewponds’; other ponds are man-made.

Ponds which where once habitat to great variety of both animal and plant life have now become a place of waste disposal and other anti social activities. These ponds which once added to the serene beauty of the place got surrounded by weeds, marsh and wastes. The water lilies which added color and tranquil beauty to the pond’s shallows got replaced by the water weeds, a threat to the animals in it. There are two principal problems related to the ponds are:

  • The ponds endlessly accumulate pollution, as there is no mechanism to remove pollution permanently. Only biomass or sediment removal will do this.

  • The other problem is weed control in these ponds as they are typically shallow around their perimeter. This encourages weeds

Other major issues are:

  • Increased population of mosquitoes due to the decline in the population of frogs.

  • Diseases due to the unhygienic conditions prevailing.

  • Pollution due to waste disposal.

  • Foul smell from the waste heaps which leads to air pollution and many other diseases.

  • Roads getting flooded during rainy season due to overflow of water from the pond.

  • Anti-social activities near the pond since the area being secluded by other locals.

Serious discussions took place between the housing colony members and the problem was brought into the co-corporations notice. The authorities concerned after studying the locality and the problems faced by the people living there decided to clean the pond along with the surrounding. The following decisions where taken by the corporation:

  • Biomass removal

    • Using Floating Wetland rafts to grow aquatic plants on the surface of the pond. The rafts are easily pulled to shore for biomass harvesting. This harvesting removes the nutrients contained in the biomass from the pond. If the plant material stays in the pond, it will only recycle back into the water at the end of its growing season as nutrient.

  • Weeds removal from the pond’s border

    • Replanting the moist border with grasses and wildflowers. Once established, the grassy-wildflower border will prevent other weed seeds from taking root. We also install Wetland Carpets.

  • Pollution problem and the weed problem

    • Plant non-invasive hybrid water lilies to add color and tranquil beauty to the pond’s shallows. Also plant the lilies in distinct island groupings in order to preserve a goodly portion of the reflective surface around the pond’s perimeter.

  • Plant moisture loving specimen perennials, bushes and trees to create a lush, vertical background to frame the pond and to reflect in the pond’s surface.

  • Construct wall around the pond to ensure that no more land encroachment takes place.

  • Drainage system running through out the lane ending to a lake to avoid flooding of the roads during heavy rain falls.

  • Pavements to be laid along the length of the pond.

  • Proper street lighting was ensured to have a clear view of the pond and the surroundings so as to prevent anti-social activities.

All the above initiatives were successfully completed and the pond and the surroundings were made neat. But a new problem arises. The construction work of the drainage system and the laying of big pipes from the pond leading to the lake destroyed the well laid road of about 2kms. This worsened the situation; the gutters being deeper ones made transportation more or less impossible for the two wheelers and three wheels. To add on to this people again started dumping their waste in front of the pond and the waste heaps diameter being extended to the road.

Waste heaps along with gutters have made not only life but also transportation difficult in the area. Articles along with photographs of the road were published in news papers so as to make the authorities concerned do the necessary at the earliest. But all those efforts were worth less. As a result the housing colony associations

  • Filled the gutters with stones and mud to level the road so as to make it good for transportation.

  • Cleared the waste heaps from the pond frontage and posted boards warning waste disposal.

  • Created awareness among the people about the advantages of vermin compost and bio gas plants.

  • Installed either vermin compost or bio gas plants in houses depending on the financial position of the house owners.

Through the above initiatives along with the help of KUDUMBA SHREE units the waste disposal issues have been solved to an extend but not completely. But condition of the roads is the same and it becomes worse during the rainy season. The authorities need to do the necessary at the earliest. Local bodies along can not make major changes in the society. If all stakeholders (government, private sector and local residents) are involved, it will help to reduce the waste disposal and other problems and consequently improve environmental quality. Therefore, any progressive strategy must be inclusive, fully integrated with economic and social practices, and incorporate all sectors of society, i.e. a wide range of social groups and actors must be actively involved.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by RAINBOW on October 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    done a good job. area of selection is also good. pond is a small area but you people find some solution for removing the waste in that pond.

    Reply

  2. Posted by NIMBUS on October 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    good…..

    Reply

  3. Posted by HORNBILL on December 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    The steps taken by the housing colony to protect the pond are really good.
    They not only tried to keep the pond clean but also tried to keep it beautifully.
    it is really good that they made a pathway and put streetlights.
    but it is said that still certain problems exists
    merely putting streetlights may not avoid anti social activities
    if people are throwing waste even after providing the awareness programs,some security measures can be arranged to prevent it.
    Also a common vermi compost plant and biogas plant can be setup by the association
    There are many other possibilities like growing edible fishes in the pond,or small boat clubs for children,or setting up a park near the pond and keep that place lively.

    Reply

  4. Posted by poseidon on December 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    points out some methods regarding how to protect ponds from waste disposal

    Reply

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