KUPWARA: Over 14,000 trout fish were found dead on Friday due to water poisoning in a fish farm in Langate area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, officials said.
Authorities in the state fisheries department said the apparent cause of the death seems to be the poisoning of Mawar stream waters that feed the Katlery fish farm in Langate area
“Police have registered an FIR in the incident and water samples have been taken for laboratory examination to determine the chemical that could have caused the death of the fishes on such a large scale,” officials of the fisheries department said.
Locals say some naturally growing fish species in Mawar stream other than trout have also been killed because of the poisoning of stream waters.
The district administration have asked villagers using the stream water not to use it till results of the samples are received from the laboratory.
The officials of Handwara police along with the officials of fisheries department and public health engineering department (PHE) reached the site where they saw thousands of dead fishes from every side in the Nalla from Nowgam to Langate. The officials upon checking the water found some chemicals in it.
Police said that on a written complaint by the fisheries department that on the intervening night of 1 and 2 February, someone had added chemical into the stream due to which thousands of fishes were killed. Based on the complaint, police registered an FIR 6/2018 under section 428 RPC in police station Qalamabad against the unknown persons and started the further investigation.
As reported by the assistant commissioner revenue Kupwara that some miscreants have poured some chemical in Nalla Mawar, with the result fishes in large-scale died. Moreover, fish farm located on the Mawar at Kutlari has also affected by this illegal Act.
Police authorities have been asked to conduct an investigation into the matter so that the action as warranted under the law shall be taken against the miscreants involved in this illegal activity.
During the investigation it has found that some army men from 17 infantry brigade based at upper Nowgam mistakenly dropped a container of Phenile in the stream due to which water was polluted.
Additional director department of fisheries district Kupwara Showqat Ahmad while talking to Kashmir Reader said that army officials based at Nowgam camp accepted the folly in front of the police and concerned MLA Langate Er Rashid that some of their men mistakenly dropped a container of Phenile in the stream and they also apologised for the same.
He further said that by the orders of director fisheries Kashmir, a three member team in which joint director, joint director projects and additional director district Baramulla, will investigate the matter and they will file their report to director in next week.
The officials of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) division Handwara issued an advisory appealing the people not to use the tape water at least for next 24 hours. They also said that some of the lift stations were stopped, and they also sent several water tankers to affected areas.
By the orders of divisional commissioner Kashmir a team of highly trained officers from PHE, fisheries and other departments reached the spot and they took the samples from the Mawar stream for further investigation. They appealed the people not to panic as stream will be cleared soon.