Features Friday, July 18, 2014 - 05:30
Biswajeet Banerjee| The News Minute| July 3, 2014| 7.16 pm IST Following the heavy rains in Lucknow this week, thousands of fishes were left gasping for breath when slush and silt from the nullahs entered the river Gomti causing a drop in the oxygen levels. “Heavy inflow of water from several nullahs had washed in all the dirt accumulated in the river which had plunged the dissolved oxygen levels forcing fish to come to the surface, said A.K. Tiwari, Regional Officer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB). In an unprecedented scene near Nishatganj, over two dozen people could be seen putting these fish in polythene bags and by evening, these were sold between Rs.50-80 per kg depending on their size. “In the afternoon we saw thousands of fish floating on the surface. Initially, we thought they were dead but after a closer look we realized they were alive. We caught them and are selling them now,” Ramesh Nishad said.  The UPPCB has carried out a survey to understand why thousands of fish came to the surface after the rains. According to the survey, the oxygen level had dropped and the fishes came to the surface gasping. “The dissolved oxygen level came down to 0.7 mg per litre”, said Tiwari. He said that the survey, carried out in 21 nullahs showed that the silt and dirt deposited in the nullahs had come into the river decreasing its oxygen level. This filth went into the river untreated. There is a sewage treatment plant and as per rules, only treated water should go into the river.  He said that required action had been taken. â€œWe have written a stern letter to the Project Officer In-charge of the Gomti Pollution Unit for better operation and maintenance of the Bharwara Sewage Treatment Plant, the monitoring of the Gomti river will be continued in the coming days.” Member Secretary UPPPCB J.S. Yadav said, "One of the basic reasons behind the dissolved oxygen levels going down is because of the construction of the barrage at this point. The barrage should be placed upstream or further downstream because if the water is allowed to flow the dissolved oxygen levels may not go down. The problem can be solved only by shifting the barrage." Yadav said that they written a letter in this regard to the State Government.

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