Overgrowth of water hyacinth in Kaptai Lake has been hampering water transport operation in Rangamati.
Movement of trawlers and boats is being disrupted due to overgrowth of water hyacinth in many parts of the lake in Kaptai upazila, Shahid Shamsuddin Ghat, and Kengrachari of Bilaichari upazila in Rangamati.
Students and HSC candidates living around Kaptai Lake are suffering the most. Especially, HSC examinees are often not reaching exam centre on time as commute through the lake is taking much longer.
Visiting the area this week, this UNB correspondent found a large swathe of the scenic Kaptai Lake covered with water hyacinth. Seen from a distance, one could mistake this as a lush, green field.
HSC candidates Anand Tanchangya, Subir Chakma and Minti Chakma said water hyacinth has accumulated in the lake like every year.
It takes three hours to reach a destination that used to take about three minutes before, they complained.
Ujjal Das, another HSC candidate, said it is difficult to reach the exam centres on time. If authorities don’t take measures to remove water hyacinth from the lake immediately, local HSC candidates’ commute woes will continue.
Boatman Shah Alam said, “Overgrowth of water hyacinth spells trouble for us too, causing engine fan to break often.”
Over the last week, water hyacinth accumulated at the upstream jetty gate. As a result, it takes two to three hours, by boat, to reach the jetty from the island area, which normally takes two to three minutes.
The unabated growth of the invasive aquatic plant is not only hampering operation of water transport but also threatening fish and marine resources – polluting Kaptai Lake’s water as well.