Hundreds of fish have died in a lake at Central Delhi’s Raj Ghat, in what authorities claim is a result of infection spread due to the first monsoon showers Friday morning. An official from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which maintains the lake, claimed the phenomenon happens every year when the weather changes due to the monsoon.
He added, “When we arrived at the lake on Friday morning, we saw a number of fish floating. Workers were deployed to clean it and around 20 kg of fish were disposed of.”
The official, from the horticulture section of the CPWD, also said that only a particular type of fish that remain close to the surface had died, and that larger fish were still present in the lake, which is located close to Shakti Sthal.
Maintenance staff at Raj Ghat said the fish were removed from the lake during the cleaning operation, which was underway till Saturday afternoon.
A Rajghat Samadhi Committee personnel said the fish were buried in a ditch dug out on the banks of the Yamuna. He added, “It appears that there was an infection due to the first rain, but it is also possible that someone threw something inside the lake which was infectious.”
Another CPWD official said they carry out maintenance work at the lake, but have not introduced fish in it.
“There are many morning walkers and a number of other visitors who come to Raj Ghat, and they may have introduced the fish. We have tried to stop people from feeding them but it’s a difficult task,” the official said.
He added that the department will consult with fisheries experts to find out more aboutwhat could be the reason behind the deaths, and take their guidance on how to avoid it going forward. Verhaen Khanna, founder of the New Delhi Nature Society, said, “Acid rain is sometimes witnessed during the first rain showers, but if that is the case, then fish in other ponds and lakes in the city may also have died. Nothing like that has come to our knowledge.”