December 24, 2011 6:14:15 am
The fisheries,forest and health departments of Ahmedabad district swung into action on Friday after receiving reports of fish dying en masse in a pond near Kerala,a village located 38 km from Ahmedabad. According to sarpanch of the village,at least four tonnes of fish has died over the last three days.
Teams from these departments visited the pond,collected samples and asked villagers not to consume dead fish or draw water from the reservoir.
We noticed some dead fish,small and some weighing up to five kg,washed ashore on Wednesday night. The next morning,there were piles of them and it continued on Thursday and Friday, sarpanch Subhas Thakar told The Indian Express.
The natural pond is right at the foot of the village with a population of around 7,000 and is spread over five acres. It is 30-feet deep at some points and fresh water remains round the year. Its banks are lined by a rice mill,a bearing factory and farms,the sarpanch said,adding fishing is not allowed there. We informed authorities after problem seemed to grow serious on Thursday, Thakor said.
Tat and wild fish are dying probably due to sudden drop in the oxygen level in water of the pond. Sometimes,the oxygen level goes down due to overcast condition and it is a short-term phenomenon. However,we will come to know the real cause only after tests are done and reports are filed, Vallabh Rupani,in-charge assistant director at the fisheries department,Ahmedabad district,said.
A team of the department visited the site and was expected to file a report on Saturday,Rupani added.
A team of health officials also visited the site on Thursday. We have given written instructions to the Kerala sarpanch to tell villagers not to eat the fish being washed ashore. It can endanger their health, Bavla Block Health Officer (BHO) Dr Alpesh Gangani said.
However,the sarpanch said that despite the instructions,residents of surrounding villages collected dead fish,especially the larger ones,and sold them in Bavla.
Ahmedabad district health officer Dr NJ Patel said the situation was under control.
A team of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) also visited the pond and collected samples of water on Thursday. We have collected samples from three different parts of the pond and after analysing the results of the sample tests,we would be able to know if there is contamination or any pollutants in the water, C A Shah,GPCB Regional officer in Gandhinagar,said.
A team of Ahmedabad district forest officials also went to Kerala to take stock of the situation,District Forest Officer Raman Murhty said.
The sarpanch said the phenomenon was unusual and government officials expressed fear that the effluent released by nearby industrial units might have contaminated waters and led to the death of fish.
However,Rupani said overpopulation of fish could be a reason. Tat and wild fish breed twice a year. On the other hand,in such ponds,panchayats do not allow fishing on religious grounds. This leads to overpopulation and sometimes to such phenomena. A similar incident had happened in a village in Mehasana in 2010, he said.
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