Farmers irked over mass fish death in Visakhapatnam
Locals allege that the water body was polluted, however, the Pollution Control Board says there is no evidence of pollutants.
VISAKHAPATNAM: A large number of dead fish found floating in a pond at Parawada in Visakhapatnam created a flutter on Monday, September 13, 2021. Farmers, who farmed fish in the water body, locally known as Pedda Cheruvu, alleged that industrial units in the area had polluted it. They said they recently staged a week-long protest demanding immediate steps be taken to check the pollution of groundwater due to pollutants from the industries. About 110 acres is under cultivation in the ayacut of the tank.
Expressing concern over the alleged pollution of the tank water, the farmers said though they had brought the issue to the notice of officials any measure to mitigate the problem was yet to be taken.
State pollution control board executive engineer Lakshminarayana said a team of officials visited the tank and found the water to be clear. “There were no pollutants in the tank,” he said and added samples from the water body were sent to a lab for analysis.
Fisheries joint director P Lakshmana Rao told TNIE that there are 130 fish tanks in the district under the department’s jurisdiction and Pedda Cheruvu is not one of them. “The tanks under panchayats are not looked after by the fisheries department. At Pedda Cheruvu, depletion of oxygen may have caused the death of fish.” Incessant rains and cloudy weather for the last three days may have resulted in depletion of oxygen levels, he observed.
He said a few months ago fish in large number died en masse at Rushikonda Beach due to depletion of oxygen. “Generally, private aqua farmers aerate the tanks to increase it oxygen level. However, Parawada farmers may not have the equipment to aerate the tank.”