Experts look for solutions to stop aquatic life deaths in filthy Banganga tank

Oct 13, 2018, 07:55 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Experts visit polluted tank after religious offerings kill hundreds of fish; suggest clean-up, water filtration and building an artificial tank to preserve aquatic life there

Experts look for solutions to stop aquatic life deaths in filthy Banganga tank
Marine scientists and veterinarians feel the reason behind these fish deaths is the pollution the offerings create in the tank. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Following the death of hundreds of fish in the Banganga tank after Pitrupaksh rituals last week, a team of experts came to the spot to assess solutions for preventing such an event in the future. The team, headed by veterinarian Dr Dinesh Vinherkar, visited the historical tank on Friday for the same, and will soon be back to clean it. They would also be forwarding a list of suggestions to prevent these deaths.

Offerings immersed in the tank during Pitrupaksh rituals choke the fish and other aquatic life in the tank to death every year. This year was no different, with hundreds of fish being seen floating along with flowers and other remnants of the offerings. Marine scientists and veterinarians feel the reason behind this is the pollution the offerings create in the tank.

During their visit, Vinherkar and his team visited the tank with honorary wildlife warden of Palghar Dhaval Kansara to interact with the locals and understand what exactly caused the deaths. They appear to have found some answers. Vinherkar told mid-day, "Around seven of us visited the spot on Friday afternoon, and prima facie, it appears that the main reason behind the deaths is the pollution that takes place in the tank, because people not only offer flowers and garden ants, but also release food offered during Pitrupaksha, along with other materials. On Friday, we saw a thick layer of oil on the water in the tank, which makes it difficult for the fish to breathe, thus resulting in their deaths."

The team is working towards a solution. They discussed a plan with locals wherein, with the local BMC ward office's help, they can start the process to clean the tank in the coming months. Vinherkar added, "We've suggested installing a small water filtration machine in a section  of any garden that is close by to help keep the water clean. We've also suggested building a small artificial tank, and spreading awareness among those coming to Banganga to release their offerings in the artificial one, so that the main tank stays unpolluted."

Expert dos and don'ts
Do
* Fix a water filtration system 
* Create awareness among Banganga visitors about the negative impacts of immersing food and other things in the tank
* Construct a small artificial tank for carrying out religious activities
* Timely clean material that has been dumped in the tank 

Don't
* Dump food or anything else in the tank as it can be dangerous for the aquatic life inside
* Enter the water, as it is polluted because of dead fish

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