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Fishy tales in Bihar ponds

Bad news for fish lovers. Some of the best varieties of fish like rohu, mangur and singhi inhabiting different ponds across in Bihar have shown high quantities of toxic insecticides like aldrin, endo-sulphan, DDT and DDE.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 03:48 IST

Bad news for fish lovers. Some of the best varieties of fish like rohu, mangur and singhi inhabiting different ponds across in Bihar have shown high quantities of toxic insecticides like aldrin, endo-sulphan, DDT and DDE.

Three forms of another chemical, hetero-chloro-hexane (HCH), which is more hazardous than DDT, has also been reported both in pond water and fishes.

Though insecticides have reportedly contaminated many wetlands across the state, the recently investigated ones include Ram Dayalu Nagar Pokhar and Ghirni Pokhar in Muzaffarpur, RN College pond in Hajipur and Sandalpur pond in Patna.

Going by the scientific observations, fish carrying the toxic stuff in their tissues are rohu (labeo rohita), mangur (clarias batrachus) and singhi (heteropneustes fossilis). Researchers fear many more species in other wetlands could contain similar toxic materials flowing down as agricultural refuse.

A research project sponsored by Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), which recently concluded in Patna University (PU), reported the startling facts.

A part of the result was also published in the recent issue of Journal of Eco-physiology and Occupational Health.

Principal investigator of the project and former PU professor of zoology Dr A. Nath said that pesticides had accumulated in water and soil in varying degrees in the ponds where the experiment was conducted.

In terms of micro-gram per litre part per billion (ppb), the highest quantity of alpha HCH, (1.100) followed by Aldrin (3.646) was found in Ram Dayalu Nagar Pokhar. HCH and Aldrin content at Ghirni Pokhar was 0.875 and 0.036 respectively. At Patna, HCH in Sandalpur pond was 0.140.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 03:48 IST