A ‘gaffe’ that wasn’t! Tripura CM Biplab Deb trolled for saying ducks increase oxygen level in waterbodies, scientists back him

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New Delhi | Updated: August 29, 2018 12:41:05 PM

Tripura CM Biplab Deb has announced that 50,000 ducks will be given to people saying that this will give a major push to the rural economy. He claimed that ducks recycle the level of oxygen in water.

Biplab Deb, Biplab Deb gaffe, Ducks increase oxygen, Duck fishing, Tripura economy, Tripura Chief MinisterA ?gaffe? that wasn?t! Tripura CM Biplab Deb trolled for saying ducks increase oxygen level in waterbodies, scientists back him

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb has often found himself in a spot with his comments. Be it his claim of the existence of the Internet at the time of Mahabharat or his remarks that Diana Hayden not being Indian enough to win the Miss World title, Deb has often landed in soup over his statements. Something similar appeared to have happened following his comments on Monday.

The Tripura CM, while announcing that 50,000 ducks will be given to people in his state, said that this will give a major push to the rural economy. “Ducks recycle the level of oxygen in water,” he said, adding that the fish in waterbodies will also benefit immensely from the droppings of the birds.

“Today I have announced to distribute 50,000 ducks to the people. When 50,000 ducks will roam in this Neermahal Lake, it will become a center of attraction and recycle oxygen as well,” he said while addressing an inaugural event of a traditional boat race at Rudrasagar, an artificial lake around water palace Neermahal, on Monday.

“When ducks swim in water, the level of oxygen in water increases automatically. This also recycles oxygen and is very useful to fish. They (fish) will get more oxygen and therefore they grow faster. They will also be benefited from bird droppings. This will also give a push to the organic fishing,” he added.

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Interestingly, while social media and some political parties latched on to this comment to criticise Deb, the Tripura CM found favour in scientists who stepped up to support the CM saying that ducks are natural aerators and help in increasing the level of oxygen.

“Duck-fish farming is integrated farming. Ducks’ excreta helps the growth of fish. Ducks are natural aerators, help in increasing and purifying oxygen. DEO can also be increased. This has been proved through studies,” A Debbarma, Scientist Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, said.

Dr Sukanta Banik, a professor of zoology at Tripura University, also said the when ducks swim in water, they create waves which will help add some atmospheric oxygen into waterbodies.

Meanwhile, opposition parties criticised the CM for his ‘irresponsible’ remark. Tripura Pradesh Congress Tapas Dey asked the CM to prepare a serious “policy” that is based on scientific evidence and includes poor.

“I am not aware how few ducks will release oxygen in a large lake like Rudrasagar. I shall not comment on it,” CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar.

While a controversy erupted over Deb’s remark, his OSD Sanjay Mishra said that the opposition has been targeting the CM only to defame him. Sanjay said that scientifically it has been proved that when ducks swim in water, they help recycle oxygen and increase its level.

“This is not the first time that such a controversy has erupted over the CM’s remark. Those present at the spot understood what he was saying and didn’t start a controversy. Those who were not present in the event are behind this controversy. This has been happening to tarnish his image,” he said.

Sanjay also referred to a research by the Chhattisgarh’s Indira Gandhi Agriculture University to back the CM’s remark. “The study states that when ducks swim, atmospheric phosphate and other minerals are created which helps in growth of green algae, the primary source of generation of oxygen in the water.”

“Ducks are considered useful for that purpose since ancient time. There are scientific evidence of the same. There is an organisation the professor of which did research which states ducks aerate when they swim which cleans the water surface. They are biological aerators,” he added.

The BJP also backed CM’s theory. BJP spokesperson Ashok Sinha said that the CM’s comments were 100 % correct and based on scientific evidence. “Ducks were used along with fish cultivation in India since ages and is a traditional Indian knowledge, which was also confirmed by Western scientists later,” he said.

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