Mumbai: Sanjay Gandhi National Park worried as invaders choke Vihar lake

Updated: Jul 28, 2020, 07:50 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Forest officials warn against the rapidly growing plant on the banks of Vihar lake, which obstructs the water flow and eats up lake area

The Ipomoea carnea growth along the banks of Vihar Lake. Pic/Ranjeet Jadhav
The Ipomoea carnea growth along the banks of Vihar Lake. Pic/Ranjeet Jadhav

The growth of invasive species of Ipomoea carnea, also known as bush morning glory on the banks of Vihar Lake seems to be a reason for worry as Forest Department officials feel the invasive weed will eat up the lake area due to its rapid growth. So the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) authorities have decided to write a letter to BMC informing about the same seeking permission to remove the plant at the earliest.

Configuring the same, a senior Forest Department official said, "In last 8-10 years we have witnessed the bush morning glory spreading rapidly on the banks of Vihar Lake. We will soon write to BMC and tell them to help us in removing this invasive species."

The Vihar Lake adjacent to Aarey milk colony and film city shares its boundary with SGNP. The area technically comes under the jurisdiction of BMC and the forested patch right next to the lake comes under the jurisdiction of the Forest Department.

Last week, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Sunil Limaye visited the Vihar Lake area along with the Range Forest Officer, Dinesh Desale from Tulsi Range of SGNP. This is when they discussed the rapid growth of the plant.

Ipomoea is a type of weed which not only obstructs water flow but also poses a threat to biodiversity. It is also said that this drought-resistant and flood-tolerant green plant spreads much faster than any other weed.

However, sounding a note of caution, botanist Siddhesh Bhogate said, "It's an invasive species but it will not be right as cutting the plant will have a negative impact on the biodiversity. It's an aquatic plant and there are many nectar-feeding birds, butterflies which get attracted to the flowers.

If the officials want to remove the same, they should talk to the botanists and carry out de-weeding manually without using any chemical."

7km
Surface area of Vihar lake

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