A portion of Dravyavati near Ambabari in Jaipur has suffered an onslaught by pistia stratiotes, also called jalkumbhi or water lettuce. The weed is engulfing the portion of the river from all directions at great speed. In a bid to clean the river, Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has launched a cleanliness campaign to curtail the fast-spreading weed. Sewerage discharge and stinking water can be considered as the major cause for overspread of the weed. Around five years ago, Anansagar Lake was also attacked by this jalkumbhi. The administration worked very hard to remove the weeds but they have returned this season too. However, it wouldn’t have such grave consequences, due to the consistent flow of water in the river.
What is Water lettuce or Pistia stratiotes and how does it impact?
They are one of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants and is known to cause significant ecological and socio-economic effects. It can alter water clarity and decrease phytoplankton production, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, heavy metals and concentrations of other contaminants. It increases biological oxidation demand and harms the flora. These weeds get nutrition, due to the seepage of water.
The efforts to control the damage from the overspreading weed continues to remain in place. Municipality and local government bodies are taking appropriate action by deploying a bulldozer and Aquatic weed cleaner machine.