LAWDA, Fisheries Dept struggle to ascertain cause
Nigeen Turns Into Scientific Laboratory
FISH(Y) DEATHS AFTERMATH
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Aug 7: Once famous for its crystal clear waters and serenity, the Nigeen Lake has turned into a scientific hub after the death of thousands of fish in the water body on Sunday.
For the past two days, the scientists of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) and Fisheries Department have been gathering water samples from the lake to ascertain the real cause behind high mortality of fish.
While the LAWDA maintains that the fish died due to high temperature, the Fisheries Departments claims that low oxygen levels triggered by decomposition of obnoxious weeds led to high mortality of fish.
The LAWDA installed six aerators in various areas of Nigeen on Tuesday to improve oxygen levels in it and pressed into service machines to clean the weeds and decomposed material.
“Our scientists are working round-the-clock to ascertain scientific reasons for fish mortality. We will get results of water samples in a day or two. We have also undertaken measures to improve oxygen level in Nigeen by installing aerators besides cleaning the decomposed material including dead fish,” the vice-chairperson of LAWDA, Irfan Yasin, said.
The Minister of State for Fisheries, Ajaz Ahmad Khan, today chaired a meeting of the Fisheries Department to seek details about high-fish mortality in Nigeen and impressed upon the officers to ascertain water quality of the lake.
“Death of such a large number of fish is a matter of concern. Preliminarily findings suggest that death was caused due to low oxygen levels. But we have taken samples from the lake to ascertain water quality. We want to ascertain the real cause of death of fish based on scientific findings and taken corrective measures,” Khan told Greater Kashmir.
Khan stated that he has given standing directions to the officers that such incident should not recur in future. “In the backdrop of high mortality of fish in Nigeen, I have directed my scientists and officers to take all measures to conserve flora and fauna of all the water bodies in the Valley,” Khan added.
The Director Fisheries Showkat Ali said nine officials of the Fisheries Department have been shifted from Nigeen to ensure transparent probe in the matter.
“Had our concerned staff been watchful, we could have taken some measures at least to minimize the deaths. We will take action against the officials who resorted to dereliction of their duties,” Showkat said.
“Fish in Nigeen might have died due to scorching heat but it is possible when a water body is overloaded with nutrients and macrophytes. We will take all the aspects while preparing our report into the incident,” Showkat said.
Aijaz Rasool an environmentalist and hydraulic engineer blamed inflow of sewage from municipal drains from Lal Bazar and adjoining areas for the fish death.
“The lake water is not even safe for bathing from any standards and the lake is infested with weeds more than ever both floating and rooted. Nigeen is the deepest basin of Dal lake and thus very sensitive for its dissolved oxygen level. If callousness and state of affairs continues as they are, it could be the first basin to die its death from point of view of its water quality,” said Ajaz who is also a member of the Committee of Experts on Wullar, Tso-Morari and Mansar-Surinsar lakes under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The peripheral ring sewerage along the lake shore has been in progress for last so many years. With the projected work already having spilled over its stipulated time of completion. No action has been taken against the contractors who are responsible for delay in construction of the sewerage system,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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