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GMC dump blamed for fish deaths in Deepor Beel

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, Oct 30 � Leaching from the Guwahati Municipal Corporation�s (GMC�s) municipal solid waste (MSW) dumping site at West Boragaon has the potential to contaminate Deepor Beel water and thus lead to large-scale death of its fish. Deepor Beel is the lone Ramsar site wetland of the State.

The above fact came to light from a communication made by the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) on November 6, 2013 to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Guwahati Wildlife Division, who sought the opinion of the Board to prepare its reply to an RTI petition made by Rohit Choudhury, an RTI-cum- environmental activist.

The PCBA said in its reply to the DFO � �The contamination of water with poisonous substance after a heavy shower due to the leaching from MSW dumping is most likely cause for fish mortality. Such contamination may be occasional, not regular. The analytical reports of the water quality do not suggest a situation (quality of water) leading to death of fishes. The most obvious reason seems to leaching of some poisonous materials from MSW dump site.�

Choudhury in his petition had sought the copies of the office memorandums, and inter-departmental communications on the issue of pollution of the Deepor Beel and encroachment on it during the past five years.

The DFO had also sent an investigation report on the large�scale death of fish in Deepor Beel in the end part of 2013 to the PCBA. The investigation was carried out by the Fishery Extension Officer, Rani Development Block of Kamrup district.

The Fishery Department inquiry report said � �The Dissolved Oxygen content was found to be critically low. Water was slightly acidic and free carbon-dioxide level was within the tolerance limit. There is evidence of heavy garbage trenching in the beel from outside. The decomposition of garbage reduces oxygen level in winter.�

However, the Fishery Extension Officer suggested more chemical analysis of the water and histo-physiological analysis of the dead viscera etc to ascertain the exact cause and causative agent responsible for the death of fish in the wetland.

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GMC dump blamed for fish deaths in Deepor Beel

GUWAHATI, Oct 30 � Leaching from the Guwahati Municipal Corporation�s (GMC�s) municipal solid waste (MSW) dumping site at West Boragaon has the potential to contaminate Deepor Beel water and thus lead to large-scale death of its fish. Deepor Beel is the lone Ramsar site wetland of the State.

The above fact came to light from a communication made by the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) on November 6, 2013 to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Guwahati Wildlife Division, who sought the opinion of the Board to prepare its reply to an RTI petition made by Rohit Choudhury, an RTI-cum- environmental activist.

The PCBA said in its reply to the DFO � �The contamination of water with poisonous substance after a heavy shower due to the leaching from MSW dumping is most likely cause for fish mortality. Such contamination may be occasional, not regular. The analytical reports of the water quality do not suggest a situation (quality of water) leading to death of fishes. The most obvious reason seems to leaching of some poisonous materials from MSW dump site.�

Choudhury in his petition had sought the copies of the office memorandums, and inter-departmental communications on the issue of pollution of the Deepor Beel and encroachment on it during the past five years.

The DFO had also sent an investigation report on the large�scale death of fish in Deepor Beel in the end part of 2013 to the PCBA. The investigation was carried out by the Fishery Extension Officer, Rani Development Block of Kamrup district.

The Fishery Department inquiry report said � �The Dissolved Oxygen content was found to be critically low. Water was slightly acidic and free carbon-dioxide level was within the tolerance limit. There is evidence of heavy garbage trenching in the beel from outside. The decomposition of garbage reduces oxygen level in winter.�

However, the Fishery Extension Officer suggested more chemical analysis of the water and histo-physiological analysis of the dead viscera etc to ascertain the exact cause and causative agent responsible for the death of fish in the wetland.