The Telangana government has taken note of the death of more than two lakh fishes in the Gandigudem Cheruvu, located in Ameenpur mandal, at the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The 266-acre lake is situated near the Kazipally Industrial area and Industrial Development Area (IDA), Bollaram and has been plagued with pollution for a while now, according to locals.
Earlier this week, almost every fish in the lake died and their bloated bodies washed ashore. Locals allege that it was due to industrial effluents, and have named four pharma companies in their police complaint.
Responding to the incident, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister T Srinivas Yadav said, â€œFish worth Rs 1.5 crore died in the Gandigudem lake due to release of pollution by local industries. While the government has been trying to promote the fisheries industry so that fishermen dependent on fishing could benefit, the industries released pollutants, resulting in the death of fish. The government will act tough against those responsible."
Meanwhile, reports suggested that the Pollution Control Board (PCB) had found traces of chloromethane, a solvent used in the pharma industry, in the samples of the water and dead fish, collected from the lake.
"On Saturday, we received results of 10 of the 72 samples collected. They contained chloromethane, an industrial solvent used in pharma companies. The diluted traces of the chemical in the lake confirm contamination. As the lake is huge with a spread of 266 acres, dilution occurs quickly," Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) member secretary P Satyanarayana Reddy told the Times of India.
On Friday, officials said that 2.3 lakh fish had washed ashore within a span of two days, causing a massive loss to the fishermen dependent on the lake.
Based on a complaint by the Fishermen Cooperative Society president, Chinta Janardhan, the Ameenpur police registered a criminal case against five pharmaceutical companies.
"We have booked a case against Hetero Pharma, Aurobindo, Mylan, SMS Pharma, Vantec and Sriram under Section 277(Fouling water of public spring or reservoir) and Section 278 (Making atmosphere noxious to health) of the IPC," Ameenpur sub-inspector G Lalu Nayak told TNM earlier.