Kolkata: Sunderbans, the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world, is facing a severe threat from the increasing level of pollution caused by human activities. The rising level of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere over the heritage forest is having a bad impact on the environment.

In a survey conducted by the scientists of the South Asian Forum for Environment two years ago, it was discovered that the levels of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere is seven times higher than the permissible limits. The root cause of the problem is the harmful smoke emitted by illegal machine boats used by the fisherman and the tourists.

Surprisingly, more than 600 small and big boats, trollers and fire fighting boats sail in the rivers of Sunderban region every day.

According to the locals, at least 120 illegal boats are sailing between Dayapur-Tibligheri market and Satlajiya-Datta Vananchal. Since the boat drivers use diesel mixed with kerosene to run the boats, the practice has been fuelling the air pollution on a large scale.

Harmful pollutants released by the boats are having a bad impact on the surrounding atmosphere and the leaves are getting discoloured due to air pollution.

Of the 370 boats running in the Sunderbans region, 73 percent of the boats are more than eight years old while 15 percent of them are more than fifteen-year-old. The toxic paints used to colour the boats are also polluting the water of the Sunderban area. 

Scientists have called for a timely initiative in dealing with the problem to prevent any severe consequences. Even after two years after the report, the state administration has not taken any concrete initiative to deal with the menace.