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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 16 June 2024 3.56 AM IST

Expert panel formed to probe mass fish death in Periyar

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An expert committee has been formed to investigate the mass fish death in Periyar. A seven-member committee comprising experts from fisheries university was formed following the proposal given by Minister Saji Cheriyan. Dr Anu Gopinath, Dr MK Sajevan, Dr Devika Pillai, Dr Prabhakaran MP and NS Saneer are the other members of the committee chaired by Dr Binu Varghese, Assistant Professor of Department of Aquaculture and Registrar Dr Dinesh K, the convener. The committee has been asked to submit its report by May 24.

A large number of fish was found dead around midnight on Monday under the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge in Periyar. According to the report of the Fisheries Department, more than 150 fish cages have been completely destroyed. The report also states that the fish farmers have suffered a loss of crores.

Varapuzha, Cheranallur and Kadamakudy panchayats suffered the most. The report of the fisheries department points out that the poisonous river has also flowed into the Kochi Corporation area. The water in Periyar below the regulator cum bridge had started discolouring. District Collector NSK Umesh had directed the Pollution Control Board to conduct an immediate inquiry into the incident. The directive was given in an emergency meeting of officials called by the collector.

An inquiry committee was formed under the leadership of the Fort Kochi Sub-Collector and included representatives of the Pollution Control Board, irrigation, industries department, health department, water authority and fisheries department.

As the area is an industrial area, CCTV cameras will be checked to see if the fish death is a result of chemical waste being dumped into the river. The collector has directed the Pollution Control Board Environmental Engineer to take measures including closing down the guilty establishments and report if there is chemical pollution. Samples of fish and water collected by the Pollution Control Board from the incident site were sent to Kufos Central Lab for testing. The result will be available within a week. Meanwhile, Hibi Eden MP demanded strict action against the culprits.

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TAGS: COMMITTEE, PANEL, MASS FISH DEATH, FISH, PERIYAR
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