Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, April 21
Days after the water supply from the Mukerian hydel channel was snapped, hundreds of fish have died in the Kali Bein at Sultanpur Lodhi.
Environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal said, “It is the fourth time that this is happening. The water flow from the Mukerian hydel channel was stopped on April 17. We had informed the PPCB that the pollutants from the toxic discharges into the Bein might kill the fish. While officials came to visit the spot, fresh water in the Bein was still not released. The level of the oxygen in the water has been reduced to 0.4 mg/L. Dead fish began turning up yesterday. The number is likely to rise tomorrow. The toxic discharges from the Bhalane Dian Colonian and the partially operational STP, Kapurthala, have also choked the Bein. Without fresh water, the fish die due to the toxic discharge.”
Even after two decades of Seechewal’s kar sewa drive at the Kali Bein and numerous letters to the PPCB, council and various other departments, the dumping of pollutants at multiple points in the Bein has continued unabated. Notably, the dying of fish in the Bein ahead or after Baisakhi every year has now almost become a routine affair. This happened earlier in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The environmentalist said the stretch near the Ber Sahib Gurdwara was the worst-affected as most of the dead fish had been found there. Seechewal said, “Every year during the repair of the Mukerian hydel channel, water is stopped for some days. As the level of toxic discharge is high, fish die.”
Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Deepti Uppal said, “The SDM has been informed about the situation and he is reviewing it. Action will be taken accordingly.”
Prof SS Marwaha, Chairman, PPCB, said, “The issue was brought to the notice of the state government on Baisakhi regarding release of water into the Kali Bein. It had stopped the water due to repair work for some days. Today fresh water has been released into the Kali Bein. I have also asked a team at GADVASU to look into the cause of the deaths of the fish.”
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