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. Also read: Speedboats collision in Kaptai lake: Bodies of 2 missing students recovered 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.” Also read: 7 injured, 2 missing after collision between two water vehicles in Kaptai Lake 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.
A journey by boat on the country’s largest Kaptai Lake is no longer a fun. Boats carrying tourists on a joy ride get stuck up in the middle of the lake, surrounded by hills. Locals commuting by boats complain of wasting productive hours as the journey gets terribly slow. For all their sufferings they blame an unusual culprit: water hyacinths. The ambience of the man-made lake is under threat as it has been covered with the prolific weeds. Read Landslide warning: People urged to evacuate foothills in Rangamati The unabated growth of the invasive aquatic plants is not only hampering operation of water transports (such as launches, speed boats and engine boats) but also threatening fish and marine resources and polluting its water. According to experts and locals the water of Kaptai Lake has been severely polluted with water hyacinths. Local residents are getting infected with various diseases by using the water of the lake, they said. Visiting the area this week UNB correspondent found a large swathe of the beautiful lake clogged by water hyacinths.