Wetland agency forms 11-member panel to probe Najafgarh drain fish deaths

The authority has also asked the department of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) to facilitate site visits for the team.

Published: 09th July 2022 07:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2022 07:40 AM   |  A+A-

Lakhs of fishes died in the Najafgarh drain a few days back. Experts say primary cause could be zero levels of dissolved oxygen in the drain. (Photo| Express)

Lakhs of fishes died in the Najafgarh drain a few days back. Experts say primary cause could be zero levels of dissolved oxygen in the drain. (Photo| Express)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Days after a large number of fishes were found dead in the upstream stretch of the Najafgarh drain, the Delhi Wetland Authority has set up an 11-member enquiry committee to inspect the drain water and probe the reasons behind the incident.

“It has been reported that there is mass mortality of fishes in the Najafgarh drain. An enquiry committee is hereby constituted to inspect the drain and submit a report on the reasons behind the episode to Delhi Wetland Authority for further action,” read the order. 

The authority has also asked the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) to facilitate site visits for the team. The Najafgarh drain located on Delhi-Haryana border falls under the jurisdiction of the irrigation department.

According to a senior official, while the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the I&FC collected water samples from the drain, the analysis of the test reports will be part of the final report to be submitted by the committee. 

“The water samples lifted from the drain need more analysis to ascertain the exact cause of the death of the fishes. The committee has been set up to carry out a detailed investigation in the matter,” the 
official said.  

Initially, the DPCC and irrigation department officials said that the primary cause behind the deaths could be the zero levels of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the drain, but what exactly caused it is still a matter of investigation.  The fisheries unit has also collected some fish samples for autopsy. The dead fishes were removed from the water, as the foul smell was tampering the surroundings.

The members of the committee include experts from various stakeholder departments such as forest, I&FC, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), DJB, fisheries unit of Delhi Animal Husbandry department, Prof V K Minocha from Delhi Technological University, Manu Bhatnagar, principal director at Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) and Ritesh Kumar, director of Wetlands International South Asia, among others.   

“We visited the site a few days back and it needs to be probed if the fish died due to lack of oxygen or due to poisoning. The water sample test results will be available next week after which the committee will be able to draw a conclusion,” said Bhatnagar, who has been working to restore the Najafgarh drain for years.
Last Saturday, clusters of dead fishes were spotted floating on both sides of the Najafgarh drain, which has a rich aquatic life. 

According to forest officials, the number of fishes was anywhere between thousands and lakhs in a stretch of about 10 kms downstream of Dhansa border in Haryana.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp