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Hundreds of dead fish surface in Punjab’s Swan river

The Swan merges with the Sutlej river near Saidpur village, around 10km downstream from Nangran, and there was apprehension that dead fish could surface in the Sutlej also, sources with the department added.

punjab Updated: Aug 04, 2018 09:16 IST
Hindustan Times, Nangal
dead fish,Nangal,Sutlej river
Villagers also claim to have seen some people take away the fish for consumption.(HT Photo)

Residents of Nangran village, around 50km from district headquarters of Rupnagar in Punjab were in for a shock on Friday morning after they saw hundreds of dead fish float to the surface in the Swan River. Villagers also claim to have seen some people take away the fish for consumption.

After getting information, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) assistant environment engineer Jatin Joshi led a team to the spot and took samples from the area for analysis.

“There is no chemical factory adjoining the Swan river in the area under Punjab. The fish might have died due to the release of toxic wastes into the Swan river from industries situated in the industrial area of Tahliwal and Mehatpur in Himachal Pradesh,” he told HT.

The Swan merges with the Sutlej river near Saidpur village, around 10km downstream from Nangran, and there was apprehension that dead fish could surface in the Sutlej also, sources with the department added.

Assistant director, fisheries, Sukhwinder Singh feigned ignorance about any fish mortality being reported in the Swan river. Environmentalist and director of a local social welfare organisation, Jagriti Sanstha, that works for the environment, Parbhat Bhatti, said, “Industrial waste from Himachal Pradesh is polluting Punjab’s rivers. Previously, such an incident was reported in the Sirsa rivulet near Rupnagar, due to industrial effluents from Himachal.”

Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board executive engineer, SK Dhiman, refuted claims that the fish had died due to release of toxic wastes from industries in his state. “I have visited villages adjoining Swan river in Himachal Pradesh and there is no evidence of fish mortality there. The fish might have died to effluents from the Punjab area,” Dhiman added.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 23:00 IST