Bio-agent clean up alien acquatic salvinia molesta weed in Satpura reservoir

Figure 1. weed spread in reservoir, 2. weed dry up 3. clean reservoir after weed control

The 55-year old reservoir of state owned Satpura Thermal Power Station located in Sarni, Betul district, Madhya Pradesh is cleaned up through bio-agent eating away alien weed Salvinia molesta.

The Salvinia molesta, commonly known as “Water Fern” is spread on 60% area of the waters of reservoir in due course of time.

The catchment area of Satpura reservior is spread on 2900 acres have 110 MCM capacity develop on Tawa river in year 1967 for water supply to the Satpura Thermal Power Station Sarni in Betul district.

The Satpura Thermal Power Station is run by state owned Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company (MPGENCO).

Apart from supply of water to the thermal power plant, the water from the reservoir is supplied to all 36 wards of the Nagar Palika Parishad Sarni too.

Salvinia molesta is an aggressive and a fast growing alien invasive aquatic weed of the South-Eastern Brazil origin.

The MPGENCO has saved Rs. 15 crore and four – five years time by carrying the cleaning of reservoir through the bio-agent.

The MPGENCO took help of the ICAR – Directorate of Weed Research, Jabalpur. The scientists of the directorate inspected the site and suggested measures to be taken to get rid of the aquatic weed Sylvania molesta through bio-agent – insect namely Cyrtobagous saliviniae.

The MPGENCO had consultancy contract of Rs. 50 lakh with the ICAR – DWR for cleaning work. Under which about 6 lakh insects developed were released in the Satpura reservoir now they number of insect is over in billions as they breed on this alien weed.

About 70 percent of the affected area of the Satpura reservoir is cleaned and in next six months, the entire area of Satpura reservoir is expected to be cleaned.

The Cyrtobagous salviniae population declines corresponding to the decline in the Weed density. The decline eventually comes to a low-level equilibrium between the Weed and insect population.

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