TRICHY: Thousands of fish were found floating dead in the Uyyakondan canal near Kuzhumayiamman temple here on Tuesday.
They were mainly spotted before the sluice after the temple. This has been happening every year whenever there is fall in water flow in the canal. Observers suspect untreated discharge of sewage into the canal for the fish deaths.
“Such incidents were reported in Palakarai and Azhwar Thoppu in the previous years. We could see growth of exotic weeds in the water in the last few days. This can reduce oxygen content in the water which may have resulted in the deaths.
But such weeds like water hyacinth grow in polluted waters. Untreated effluents could be the only reason,” said Thanneer Vinoth, coordinator for Thanneer- a city based environmental organisation. “While there is limited possibility of untreated sewage getting into the canal near Kuzhumayiamman temple, which is more of an agrarian locality than the thickly populated core city area, sewage flowing into the canal from the city could have reversed after fresh water flow into the canal stopped in the last two weeks,” he added.
“The civic body needs to take steps to treat untreated sewage before letting it into the canal. Till then there cannot be any solution,” said Vinoth. A senior PWD official said that water flow in the canal has come down in the last couple of weeks which could be a reason for the death of fishes at such a large scale When asked if the water flow could reverse in the Uyyakondan, the official did not rule out the possibility and said that the flow reverses near the MGR statue round about where the natural flow of water reduces or stops.
Since the water flowing in the reverse mainly consist of untreated sewage, it may be the reason for the deaths, he added. The PWD official said that many proposals have been sent to the government to prevent discharge of untreated sewage into the canal. The city corporation too has been asked to utilise Rs 17 crore fund under the smart city project apart from beautifying the area on either side of the canal. Trichy district environmental engineer R Lakshmi said that a team from TNPCB will inquire about the whole incident and take necessary action after consulting with other departments including the PWD and city corporation.