East Kolkata Wetlands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from East Calcutta Wetlands)
Jump to: navigation, search
East Kolkata Waterlands
Nalban, a part of the East Kolkata Wetlands.

The East Calcutta Wetlands, also known as the East Kolkata Wetlands (22 0 27’ N 88 0 27’ E), are a complex of natural and human-made wetlands lying east of the city of Calcutta (Kolkata), West Bengal in India. The wetlands cover 125 square kilometers, and include salt marshes and salt meadows, as well as sewage farms and settling ponds. The wetlands are used to treat Kolkata's sewage, and the nutrients contained in the waste water sustain fish farms and agriculture.

The name East Calcutta Wetlands was coined by Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh[citation needed], who reached this incredible but neglected part of the city searching the answer to a question: What exactly happens to the city sewage? These natural water bodies which were known just as fisheries provided the answer. Devised by local fishermen and farmers, these wetlands served, in effect, as the natural sewage treatment plant for the city. The East Kolkata Wetlands host the largest sewage fed aquaculture in the world.[citation needed]. After the decision to extend Salt Lake City by converting more wetlands in the area, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by CSO s . saved the Wetlands by a landmark judgement of Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee of Calcutta High Court.

The East Calcutta Wetlands were designated a "wetland of international importance" under the Ramsar Convention on August 19, 2002.

Flora[edit]

There are about 100 plant species, which have been recorded in and around the East Calcutta Wetlands. These include sagittaria montividensis, cryptocoryene ciliata, cyperus spp., crostichum aureum, lpomoea aquatica, etc.

Several kinds of water hyacinths grow across these wetlands. Local farmers and fisher folk use water hyacinth to create a buffer between land and water to minimize erosion.

The area is also home to large numbers of coconut and betel nut trees. Many varieties of vegetables are farmed here, including cauliflower, eggplant, pumpkin, sunflower and sacred basil. Tracts of land are dedicated to paddy cultivation as well.

Fauna[edit]

Numerous species of fish are farmed in the sewage fed ponds called bheris in the East Kolkata wetlands. These include silver carp, tilapia, The area is also home to marsh mongoose and small Indian mongoose. Palm Civet and Small Indian Civet are significant in and around East Calcutta Wetlands. Approximately 20 mammals are reported from this region. Snakes found in the East Calcutta Wetland include Checkered keel back (Xenochrophis piscator), Smooth water snake (Enhydris enhydris), Buff striped keel back (Amphiesma stolata), and Bronze back tree snake (Tendrelaphis pristis) It is the Type locality of a mammalian species, called Salt Lake Marsh Mongoose. Over 40 species of birds can be spotted at the wetlands. The process of urbanisation however, is leading to the disappearance of many bird species from the area.(Ghosh,A,K, 2004)

Sewage treatment[edit]

Kolkata is an example of how natural wetlands are sometimes being utilized in developing countries. Using the purification capacity of wetlands, the Indian city of Kolkata (Calcutta) has pioneered a system of sewage disposal. Built to house one million people, Kolkata is now home to over 10 million, many living in slums. But the 8,000-hectare East Kolkata Wetlands Ramsar Site, a patchwork of tree-fringed canals, vegetable plots, rice paddies and fish ponds – and the 20,000 people that work in them – daily transform one-third of the city's sewage and most of its domestic refuse into a rich harvest of fish and fresh vegetables. For example, the Mudially Fishermen's Cooperative Society is a collective of 300 families that lease 70 hectares into which wastewater from the city is released. Through a series of natural treatment processes – including the use of Eichhornia crassipes and other plants for absorbing oil, grease and heavy metals – the Cooperative has turned the area into a thriving fish farm and nature park.

Controversy[edit]

Recently illegal landfills are on the rise and the wetlands are being slowly assimilated in thestream city. This unprecedented land development and urbanization are creating concerns about the impact on the environment. This is because the wetlands serve as a natural sponge absorbing excess rainfall and doing its bit to reduce pollution. Wetlands are under threat due to exponential expansion of real-estate projects in eastern Kolkata especially in the Salt Lake and Rajarhat sectors.

Microbial Biodiversity[edit]

Microbial Diversity is an integral part of biodiversity which includes bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, protozoa and protists (Ghosh, A., 2007). East Kolkata Wetland shows an immense diversity of flora and fauna both at the macro and micro level. Microbial richness of a region is its unseen asset that needs to be explored and conserved. Soil samples collected from ECW shows the presence of various new strains of microbes which are not only ecologically important but also have commercial value (Ghosh, A., 2007). These include Actinobacteria which are responsible for the degradation of nitrophenol, nitroaromatic compounds, pesticides and herbicides; Proteobacteria related to the bioremediation of heavy metals, degradation and recycling of woody tissues of plants, oil contaminated soil and toxic compounds and nitrogen fixation along with the cyanobacters; other bacteria playing important roles in metal accumulation, oil degradation, antimicrobial compound production, enzyme production etc. (Ghosh, A., 2007).

Sources[edit]

1. Urban Wastewater: Livelihoods, Health and Environmental Impacts in India: The Case of the East Calcutta Wetlands by Gautam Gupta, Jadavpur University (see: www.iwmi.cgiar.org/.../Urban%20Wastewater%20WS_Kolkata.pdf ).

2. S.Ray Choudhury, A. R. Thakur. Microbial Genetic Resource Mapping of East Kolkata Wetland. Current Science, Vol. 91, No. 2, 2006 25 July.

3. Ghosh, A., Maity, B., Chakrabarti, K., Chattopadhyay, D. (2007). Bacterial diversity of East Calcutta Wet land area: possible identification of potential bacterial population for different biotechnological uses. Microb Ecol. Oct;54(3):452-9.

References[edit]

Maiti, P and Banerjee, S. (1999). Heavy metal in wastewater ponds in and around Calcutta and their effect on Mammalian System contaminated through fish raised in wastewater improvement, Annual report (1998–1999), Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta.

Barbier, E.B., Acreman, M., and Knowler, D. (1997). Economic valuation of wetlands - A guide for policy makers and planners, Ramsar Copnvention Bureau, Gland, Switzerland.

Biswas, K. P. (1927). 'Flora of the Salt Lakes, Calcutta', Journal of Department of Science, University of Calcutta, vol. 8.

Bose, B.C. (1944). 'Calcutta sewage-fisheries culture', Proc. Nat. Inst. Sci., India, 10.

Brown, L. R. (2001). Eco-Economy-Building an Economy for the Earth, Earthscan, London.

Chakraborty, S. (1970). 'Some consideration on the evolution of physiography of Bengal', in A. B. Chatterjee, A. Gupta, and P. K. Mukhopadhyay (eds.), West Bengal, Geographical Institute, Presidency College, Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta, India.

Clarke, W. (1865). 'Report of the project of The Salt Lake Reclamation & Irrigation Company Limited', in Selections from the Records of the Bengal Government (containing papers from 1865–1904), Calcutta, India.

CMG (1945). 'Some facts about Calcutta drainage', in A. Home (ed.), The Calcutta Municipal Gazette: Official organ of the Corporation, Central Municipal Office, Calcutta, India, 42(7).

______ (1964). 'Reclamation of Salt Lakes - Dr. B. C. Roy's dream' in A. Home (ed.), The Calcutta Municipal Gazette: Official organ of the Corporation of Calcutta, Central Municipal Office, Calcutta, India, 81(6&7). CMW&SA (1996). Sustaining Calcutta, Present Status Report of the Urban People's Environment, Calcutta Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority, Kolkata.

____ (1997). Base line document for management action plan, East Calcutta Wetlands and Waste Recycling Region, Calcutta Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority, Kolkata.

Cook, C.D.K. (1996). Aquatic and Wetlands Plants of India. Oxford University Press.

Costanza, R., d'Agre, R.,m Groot, R. de, Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limbujrg, K., Naeem, S.O., Neill, R. V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R. G., Sutton P., and Belt, M. van den (1997).'The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital', Nature, vol. 387.

Dasgupta, R. (1973). 'Contribution of botany of a portion of Salt Lakes, West Bengal', Ind.Mus. Bull., vol. 1.

David, A. (1959). 'Effect of Calcutta sewage upon the fisheries of the Kulti estuary and connected cultivable fisheries', Journal of Asiatic Society (Bengal), vol. 1, No. 4.

De, M., Bhunia, S., and Sengupta, T. (1989). 'A preliminary account of major wetland fauna of Calcutta and surroundings', Ecology, 3(9).

Deb, S. C., and Santra, S. C. (1996). 'Bio-accumulation of metals in sewage fed aquatic system - a case study from Calcutta (India)', International Journal of Environmental Studies.

Deb, S. C., Das, K. K., and Santra, S. C. (1996). 'Studies on the productivity of sewage-fed ecosystem', Journal of Environmental Protection, 12.

DEC a (1945). 'History of the Gangetic Delta, Appendix 1 a', Report of the committee to inquire into the drainage conditions of Calcutta and adjoining area, Drainage Enquiry Committee, Government of Bengalk, Calcutta, India.

____b (1945). 'Draionage (rural) of the area falling with the outer zone, which is to be investigated by the Calcutta Drainage Committee, Appendix IX', Reports of the committee to inquire into the drainage condition of Calcutta and adjoining area, Drainage Enquiry Committee, Government of Bengal, Calcutta, India.

DOE (1999). Development and Management of the Calcutta canal systems and wetlands, Report of the committee constituted by the Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal.

____ (2001). Report of the committee to look into all aspects of the existing and permissible land uses in the East Kolkata Wetland Area, Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal. _____ (2004)Report of the committee for formulation of the guidelines for preparation of management plan of East Kolkata Wetland, Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal. Department of Fisheries (1983). Report on study of heavy metal in sewage-fed fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of West Bengal.

Douglas, J. S. (1972). Beginner's guide to applied ecology, Pelham Books, London.

Ekins, P. (1972). Beginner's guide to applied ecology, Pelham Books, London.

Ekins, P. (1992). A New World Order, Grassroot Movement for global change, Routledge, London.

Farber, S., and Costanza, R. (1987). 'The economic value of wetland systems', Journal of Environmental Management, 24.

Ghosh,A.K(.1990 ).Biological Resources of East cAlcutta Wetlands.Indian J Landscape System and Ecological Studies,13 (1):10 - 23

Ghosh,A.K and Chakrabarty, Satyesh(1997). Management of East CAlcutta Wetlands and Canal Systems. A Report, CEMSAP,Dept.Environment Govt.West Bengal, 1-188.

Ghosh,A.K. and Shreela Chakrabarti (1999).Human Interventions and Changing Status. Sci. Cult., 65:36 -38. Ghosh,A.K.(2004). Avian Diversity of East Calcutta Wetlands. Environ,9 (1):8 - 13. Ghosh, S. K., and Ghosh, D. (2003). Rehabilitating Biodiversity: A community-based initiativew in the East Calcutta Wetlands, A Communiqué published through WWF-India (W.B.S.O.), in collaboration with British Council Division, Kolkata.

Ghosh, D., and Furedy, C. (1984). 'Resource Conserving Traditions and Waste Disposal: The Garbage Farms and Sewage-fed Fisheries of Calcutta', Conservation and Recycling, Vol. 7, No. 2-4.

Ghosh, D., and Sen, S. (1987). 'Ecological History of Calcutta's Wetland Conservation', Environmental Conservation, vol. 14(3).

______(1992). 'Developing Waterlogged Areas for Urban Fishery and Waterfront Recreation Project', AMBIO, Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, vol. 21, No. 2.

Ghosh, D. (1978). Ecological Study of Some selected Urban and Semi-urban Centers of West Bengal and suggesting certain controls of the Ecosystem, Ph. D. thesis, University of Calcutta.

____ (1983). Sewage treatment fisheries in East Calcutta Wetlands, mimeographed, (not available for checking), Reports to the Department of Fisheries, Government of West Bengal, Calcutta, India.

____ (1992). 'The ecologically handicapped', The Statesman, March 12.

____ (1996). Turning around: for a community based technology. Calcutta Environment improvement, CMW&SA.

(1999). 'Rebellion of Nature and Need for a Global Convention on Consumption Imbalance', Journal of Indian Anthropological Society, 34.

____(2001). 'Empowering the Ecologically Handicapped; in V. G. Martin and M. A. Parthasarathy (eds.), Wilderness and Humanity: the Global Issues, Flcrum Publishing, Golden, Colorado.

Ghosh, S. K. (2002). Reclamation and enhancement of biodiversity of the East Calcutta Wetlands, Project report prepared for British Council, Calcutta, implemented through WWF- India, West Bengal State Office.

____ (2002) Wetland Ecosystem, West Bengal State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal and Ramkrishna Mission Narendrapur, West Bengal, India, executed by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, technical implementation by Kalpavrissh and administrative co-ordination by Biotech Consortium, India Ltd., funded by Global Environmental Facility through UNDP.

Ghosh, S. K., and Ghosh D. (2003). Community based rehabilitation of wetlands in West Bengal, India, S. B. Ray et al. (ed.), Contemporary Studies in Natural Resource Management in India, Forest Studies Series, Inter-India Publication, New Delhi.

Ghosh, S./ K., and Mitra, A. (1997). Flora and Fauna of East Calcutta Wetlands, Project report of Creative Research Group, East Calcutta Wetlands and Waste Recycling (Primary data), Environmental Improvement Programme, Calcutta Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority.

Ghosh, S. K., and Santra, S.C. (1996). 'Domestic and Municipal Wastewater Treatment by Some Common Tropical Aquatic Macrophytes', Indian Biologist. vol 28 (1).

Ghosh, A., Maity, B., Chakrabarti, K., Chattopadhyay, D. (2007). Bacterial diversity of East Calcutta Wet land area: possible identification of potential bacterial population for different biotechnological uses. Microb Ecol. Oct;54(3):452-9.

____ (1997). 'Economic benefits of wetland vegetation for rural population in West Bengal India', in W. Giesen (ed), Wetland Biodiversity and Development, proceedings of workshop of the International Conference on Wetland and Development, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9–13 October 1995. Wetlands International Kuala Lumpur.

Good R.E., Whigham, D. F., and Simpson, R.L.(1978). (eds.) Freshwater Wetlands, Ecological Processes and Management Potential, Academic Press, New York.

Holling, C. S., Schindler, D.W., Walker, B.W., and Roughgarden, J.(1955). 'Biodiversity in the functioning of the ecosystem, an ecological synthesis', in Parings et al. (eds.), Biodiversity Loss, Economic and Ecological issues, Cambridge University Press.

Instit;ute for Wetland Management and Ecological Design (1997). A study on the status of sewage of Calcutta as carrier of pollutants, nutrients and sediments, Report submitted to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, Calcutta.

ISI (2001). Report on Environmental Conservation and Valuation of East Calcutta Wetlands 999-2000, World Bank aided 'India Environmental Capacity Building' Technical Assistance Project.

Irrigation and Waterways Directorate (1959). Final Report of the West Bengal Flood Enquiry ommittee, Government of West Bengal, Irrigation and Waterways Department, Calcutta.

Jana, B. B., Banerjee, R. D., Guterstam, B., and Heeb, J. (2000). (eds.) Waste recycling and resource management in the developing world, University of Kalyani.

Kolstad, C. D., and Guzman, R. (1999). 'Information and the divergence between willingness- to-pay’,Environ.Econ.Mgmt.

Kormondy, E.J.(1974). Concepts of Ecology, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi.

Larson, J.S. (1976). (ed.). Models for Assessment of Freshwater Wetlands, Water Resources Research Centre, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. publication no. 32, completion report FY 76-5.

Maltby, E.(1986). Waterlogged Wealth, International Institute of Environment and Development, Earthscan, London.

Misra, A.(1993). Aj Bhi Khare Hai Talab, Paryavayaran Kaksh, Gandhi Santi Pratisthan,New Delhi.

Mitchell, B.(1979). Geography and Resource Analysis, Longman, London.

Mitsch. W.J., and Gosselink, J. G. (1986). Wetlands, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Newyork

Monkhouse, F.J., and Wilkinson, H.R.(1976). Maps and Diagrams: Their Compilation and Construction, Methuen & Co. Ltd., London

Mukherjee, D.P., Kumar, B., and Saha, R.(2005) Performance of Sewage - Ponds in Treating Wastewater (unpublished report), Central Pollution Control Board, Eastern Regional Office, Kolkata.

NBSAP(2002). National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, West Bengal State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal and Ramkrishna Mission Narendrapur, West Bengal, India, executed by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, technical implementation by Kalpavriksh and administrative co-ordination by Biotech Consortium, India Ltd., funded by Global Environmental Facility through UNDP.

Pal, D., and Dasgupta, C. K. (1988). 'Interaction with fish and human pathogens', proceedings of National Symposium on 'Fish and Their Environment, Trivandrum.

Pearce D. W., and Turner R.K.(1990). Economics of natural resources and the environment, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Sachs, W. (2001). Planet Dialectics: Explorations in Environment and Development, Zed Books, London.

Sarkar, R. (2002). Valuing the ecosystem benefits of treatment of manmade wetlands using conventional economic indicators - a case study of the East Calcutta Wetlands, Occasional Papers no. 01/2002, Department of Business Management, University of Calcutta.

Schuyt, K., and Brander, L. (2004). 'The Economic Values of World's Wetlands', Living Waters, Conserving the source of life, WWF, Gland/Amsterdam.

Scott, D. A. (1989) (ed.). A Directory of Asian Wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.

Sewell, R. B.(1934). A study of the fauna of the Salt Lake, Calcutta. Record of the Indian Museum. 36. Stewart. D. (1836). 'Report on the project of The Salt Lake Reclamation & Irrigation Company Limited', in Selection from the records of the Bengal Government, (containing papers from 1985 to 1964), Government of West Bengal, Calcutta, India.

Thomas, R. W., and Huggett, R. J. (1980), Modeling in Geography: A Mathematical Approach, Harper & Row, London.

Trisal, C. L., and Zutshi, D. P. (1985). 'Ecology and Management of Wetland Ecosystems in India', Paper presented at the Regional Meeting of the National MAB Committee of Central and South Asian Countries, New Delhi.

Turner, R. K., and Bateman, I. J. (1995). 'Wetland Valuation: three case studies', in Perring et al. (eds.), Biodiversity loss, economic and ecological issues, Cambridge University Press.

UNESCO (2000). Science for the twenty-first century, a new commitment, World Conference on Science.

United Nations Development Programme (1998), Human Development Report 1998, Oxford University Press, New York.

WCED (1987). Our Common Future, World Comkmission on Environment and Development Oxford University Press, Oxford.

World Wide Fund for Nature (1993). Directory of Indian Wetlands.

External links[edit]