A team of scientists of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) on Thursday visited the rivers in Paradip area following reports of leakage of acid water.
On Tuesday morning, large quantities of pollutants from Paradip Phosphates Limited (PPL) had entered water bodies following a crack in its gypsum slurry pipelines.
Fishermen belonging to Kujang block and Paradip alleged that acid water from the pipelines polluted river creeks at Sandhakuda leaving the area littered with dead fishes and other marine creatures. The fishes were found floating in different water bodies. Sources said around 250 fishermen of Kujang and Paradip had taken some portions of river bodies on lease for fishing and setting up prawn gherris.
They alleged that acid water and effluents for fertiliser plant of PPL mixed with rain water entered rivers like Machyadiha, Pattanali and river creeks.
On the other hand, General Manager of PPL Prafulla Kumar Panda refuted the allegation. “We have already replaced the old pipelines with new ones and there is no question of leakage of any kind. Hence, these allegations are baseless. We are ready for any kind of inquiry,” he said.
Senior scientist of OSPCB Anup Kumar Mallick said the team visited rivers and creeks to ascertain the reason behind death of fishes. “We have collected water samples and these will be sent to Bhubaneswar for tests. The exact cause of death of fishes can only be ascertained after the report is received,” he said.
Earlier, the Fishery Department officials too visited the creeks where dead fishes were found floating and interacted with local fishermen.