Lack of Rain, Pollutants Kill Tonnes of Fish in Chennai Lake
It has been over a week since residents have been complaining of stench in the area around Thiruneermalai lake, as tonnes of dead fish have been rotting in the almost dried-up lake.
The residents alleged that the sewage from Madras Special Economic Zone (MEPZ) in Tambaram was being let into the dry lake, which in turn killed the fish, reported The Times of India.
Many residents said that their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. “Authorities are not taking any action to remove the dead fish and nobody seems to be concerned,” said a resident, quoted the media report.
“People have to cover their faces while crossing Chennai Bypass near Thiruneermalai. The stink is spreading throughout the area causing serious problem to locals,” he added.
The Thiruneermalai lake was earlier maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD) and has now been taken over by the Department of Fisheries.
Thiruneermalai-based E Devaraj, who took the auction of the tank last year, said his attempts to remove fish turned futile.
“I engaged in breeding fish and introduced 2.5 lakh catla fish last June. Before my auction period was over in February, I requested the PWD to extend the period so that I can catch the grown fish and sell them off,” he said, reported The Times of India. But apparently the PWD refused as the tank had been taken over by the fisheries department.
“Meanwhile, the tank had dried up due to drought resulting in a massive fishkill. At least 25 tonnes of fish had died,” he added.
Now he is not allowed to clear the waste as it does come under the jurisdiction of his department anymore.
An official in the fisheries department has told that steps would be taken to remove the dead fish in two to three days.
Tamil Nadu is reeling from a water crisis at the moment with water tankers attending to the residents’ daily requirements. The water levels in Chennai’s main reservoirs have been at their lowest in seven decades, at just 1.3 percent of the total capacity.
(With inputs from The Times Of India)
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)