Mansoor PeerSrinagar, Oct 22:
Local residents and officials were taken by surprise after a large scale fish kill near
Chattabal area of Srinagar.
Following this officials of Fisheries department rushed to the spot to assess the damage. Officials also took samples for test to ascertain the cause behind the sudden incident. “We have taken water samples as well as the samples of fish. Most of the fish washed up ashore are not dead, suggesting the prima facie absence of a poisonous substance,” said Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rashid Shah.
He said a technical team visited various spots on river Jhelum to assess the damage. “The team suggest further tests which will be done immediately,” Shah said and asked general public not to panic
Director of Fisheries department Kashmir, Rajnath Pandita, however, attributed the fish damage to the oxygen depletion caused by presence of waste in river water.
“I visited the spot and assessed the damage. We have taken samples and it was found fish of only Kashmiri species were destroyed after oxygen depletion caused by presence of heavy waste material in the river water,” Pandita said. He ruled out “ any use of poisonous substance in the water.”
“Mostly, big fish have been destroyed. If poison could have been used, small fish would have been affected,’’ he said.
According to Pandita fish of Kashmiri species “better live in pure water unlike other species.” “ When the load of pollutant is high in water, the oxygen level decreases,” he said. Pandita said that the polluted water would dissolve if the barricades placed by irrigation and flood control department near Chattabal Weir for water control are lifted. “We have taken up the matter with irrigation department for lifting of barricade to let water flow with speed which would help dissolve waste and help fishes to sustain,” he said.
Chief Engineer I&FC Kashmir, Imtiyaz Ahmad was not available for comments.
Similar incidents according to officials were witnesses in previous time also in other water bodies of Kashmir.