To counter the Environmental Challenges, an NGO - Nature Club Surat (NCS), utilized the wild vegetation by balancing the ecological and socio-economic effects. The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) used the water hyacinth for making the fertilizers and for the preparation of the Biogas.
The NCS recently undertook a study on ‘Impact of water hyacinth on river Tapi’. The aim of the study was to find environmental challenges posed by water hyacinth on Tapi River, investigate the reason for its continuous growth and suggest measures for utilizing the wild vegetation in a different manner.
Nature Club Surat (NCS), a non-government organization, has suggested to Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to utilize water hyacinth in Tapi river for making charcoal briquettes, baskets, biogas, fertilizers, etc.
Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is one of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants and is known to cause significant ecological and socio-economic effects. Though from South America, nowadays it has become an environmental and social challenge throughout India.
The NSC study pointed out that water hyacinth adversely affects environment and humans in diverse ways. Tapi in Surat is also facing the same issue. Water hyacinth is posing threat to riparian biodiversity, irrigation canals by clogging, water transport, fishing, etc.
The main problem identified by the study is with regard to more than 30 million litres per day (MLD) sewage released into Tapi from more than 20 outlets and release of fly ash from Ukai thermal power station which act as nutrition for water hyacinth.
This study also highlights various ways to prevent the spread of or eradication of water hyacinth. NCS volunteer Ashish Vakil said, “Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China and the United States are also facing the same problem but they have started to make charcoal briquettes, baskets, biogas and fertilizers from water hyacinth. ”
Removal of water hyacinth is just a temporary solution. Another main reason is stagnant water of Tapi River. Weir-cum-causeway has blocked the flow of Tapi and the study has proved that water hyacinth breeds and disperses more quickly in stagnant water.