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18 Jan 2019, Edition - 1284, Friday

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Kerala News

African hyacinth posing problems to boat operators in Kerala waters

Covai Post Network

Image credit : Illustrative Image

Kochi: African hyacinth overgrowing in waterbodies is turning into a nightmare for boat operators who frequently end up encountering snags in the propellers.

The hated weed was confined to a smaller area in the rivers and backwaters of Kerala till about three decades ago. The spurt in movement of foreign ships over a period of time has led to
considerable increase in the growth of hyacinth, said a boat operator.

It is one of the fastest growing weeds and generates seeds in such intensity that they double in a couple of weeks. Its presence in large quantity can choke marine lives by blocking aeration. It also causes problems galore for fishermen.

The European Union has put it on the `alien plant species’ list.

Incidentally, the government has done little to do away with this week, letting them spread to larger areas, a local fisherman told The Covai Post here.

But there are some voluntary agencies sincerely engaged in taking out the weeds and making articles out of them like bags, mats and baskets and the Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS) is one of them. Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design has joined hands with KIDS to train women in adding value to such products and is training KIDS members in Ahmedabad.

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