A surprise visitor

Add them to your must-visit list now," said author Lyn Mettler. No host bar opens closes at No host bar opens Closes at

A surprise visitor

One finds very large shallow ponds, with sparkling water, wrapped in an eerie silence. But the importance of these ponds — or bheris as they are called locally — goes beyond their natural beauty. The sewage that is sent to the wetlands is subjected to solar purification, followed by natural oxidation, after which the water is conducive for the growth of algae and plankton, the primary food of fishes.

But there are problems galore for the wetlands. And encroachment A surprise visitor the single largest threat that the East Kolkata Wetlands face. According to Naba Dutta, environmental activist and member of green platform Sabuj Mancha, 4, sq m of wetlands have already been encroached upon or filled up.

In fact, he claims, there were initially odd ponds, which have now come down to In the absence of official surveys, gauging the extent of encroachment is difficult.

A survey conducted by SCOPE an NGO at Bhagwanpur — one of the 32 mouzas, the local word for settlement — revealed that the water cover had got reduced from 88 per cent in to 19 per cent in The other question is also that of the quantity of the solid waste and sewer.

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The late Dhrubajyoti Ghosh, well-known champion of the wetlands, had, in his book, Ecology and Traditional Wetland Practice — Lessons from Wastewater Utilisation in the East Calcutta Wetlands, raised the issue of toxicity threat in the region.

The storm drainage system set up in the eastern part of the city in the 70s and 80s has turned into unauthorised sewer connections for small and medium industries.

Untreated industrial waste water reaches the fish-ponds and agricultural lands, leading to metal deposition. This, in turn, reduces the edible quality of fish and vegetables grown in the region.

A surprise visitor

In Bengaluru, the municipal sewage in Vrishabhavati river, which flows through the south-western part of the city, sustains vegetable farming in the southern fringes. But industrial effluents have raised concerns about toxicity levels in the food chain.The ever-helpful, very talented Mexican attorney Spencer McMullen (attheheels.com) has offered the following summary of the new Aduana rules for permanent vehicle imports by private individuals.

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A surprise visitor

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