In the wake of fishes being found floating in Chilavannoor lake for the last three days, residents and fisherfolks near the lake have sought strict action from the authorities.
According to the residents, the main reason behind the death of the fishes is the illegal dumping of waste into the lake every year before the commencement of rainy season.
“Every year before the onset of monsoon, we see many fishes floating in the lake. We have also observed the illegal dumping of waste materials into the lake, especially during this season. Though we have registered numerous complaints with the authorities concerned, no corrective measures have been taken so far,” said Sreeja, a resident in the area.
Majority of these residents depend on fishing for their livelihood.
“Fishing cannot be done for the next four to five months as toxins must be removed from the polluted water. What will we do for our livelihood till then,” asks Kochupennu, a fisherwoman.
Meanwhile, P X Antony, a member of the Fishermen Welfare Committee, said the water had become so toxic that a burning sensation accompanied by itching is felt when it comes in contact with the body.
“Even the waste from the Elamkulam Sewage Treatment Plant is dumped into this lake every year during the rainy season,” he alleged.
However, the authorities of Elamkulam Sewage Treatment Plant brushed aside these allegations.
“The plant is functioning as per the guidelines issued by the government and the Pollution Control Board,” said Haseena Basheer, Assistant Engineer of Elamkulam Sewage Treatment Plant. “Proper biological treatment is being carried out at the plant, including primary settlement, aeration and final settlement. Further,the waste is disposed of only after being tested so that no toxic content is present in it,” she said.