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Fishes gasp to death at Jubilee Park Lake, experts blame rising pollution

Jamshedpur, April 5: The picturesque landmark Jayanti Sarovar (better known as Jubilee Park Lake) turned into graveyard for several fishes early Wednesday morning. The incident took place two days after aquatic life struggled for breath at the Sarovar.

The oily layer, which is toxic for aquatic life, was spotted by anglers early in the morning. In no time, fish were seen gasping on the water surface. Hundreds of dead fish soon spread along the bank along the lake.

As the news spread Jusco workers collected the dead fish for mass burial inside Jubilee Park even as people, including morning walkers, watched helpless fish battling for survival.

“It is really surprising that innocent fish dying. Authorities should do something serious to prevent such incidents,” said a morning walker.

The oily layer came out from an in-let near the Old Court premises and spread over the lake. Several big catlas and rohus struggled for survival.

Jayanti Sarovar houses species like mrigal, catfish katla, and rohu. There are two in-lets to the water body – one near the Old Court and the other near Tata zoo. At the Old Court end, industries like Tata Steel and Praxair India Private Limited, a manufacturer of industrial gases, are located.

According to environment experts the decrease of oxygen level due to shallowness of the water body and oily polluting has led to suffocation causing death of the fishes. An expert noted that the shallowness of the lake has increased due to silt deposition. It proves that shallowness of the water is making fish exposes to predator. The turbidity of water in the lake is quite high as it was not transparent due to influence of domestic and industrial sewage coming to the lake from the inlets.

Jamshedpur Angling Club (JAC) secretary Bidyut Bhowmick said the water has become polluted and a death bed for acquatic life. “ It is really very sad. The lake is already shallow and oily layer only helped in further depleting the dissolved oxygen level in the water body,” he added.

Conservationist K.K. Sharma said: “As per my study fishes have died as water level has got shallow towards a portion of the lake due to influx of pollutants (wastes) and oily chemicals through the inlet. As the water becomes shallow even slight change in temperature results in evaporation of water and when it combines with an oily film which gets deposited in the gills of the fish hindering their breathing they suffocate leading to death”.

He further said fish can’t breathe if oxygen in water gets less than 4PPM (parts per million) and also indicated about the shallowness of the lake by citing that even egrets could be seen hunting for fish walking on surface of water.

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