Surfacing of fish near Jhelum banks creates scare

Outcome of oxygen depletion, no need to panic: District administration

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 23 2017 12:45AM | Updated Date: Oct 23 2017 12:45AM
Surfacing of fish near Jhelum banks creates scare

Surfacing of  hundreds of fish near the banks of river Jhelum at Chattabal Veer here created panic among people. 

As soon as the news about the surfacing of fish on Jhelum banks started doing rounds in Srinagar, large number of people thronged Chattabal and its adjoining areas.

“After seeing large number of fish near banks of the river, people jostled to take them home creating chaos. A scare was created with people come up with different theories which led to the phenomenon,” said Irshad Ahmad, a witness who lives near Chattabal Veer.

He said later announcements were made not to consume the “infected” fish. However, Director Fisheries, Ghulam Jeelani termed it as a case of depletion of oxygen level in Jhelum. “Due to this specific breed of local fish surfaced near the banks.”

“You can see in the videos that fish are alive, which negates any theory of poisoning. Had it been poisoning, then all types of fish would have been dead,” he said. 

“The surfacing of fish has probably happened as the water level has gone down due to less rains this year. Besides the problem is compounded by pollution level of the river due to diversion of sewage channels into the water body,” Jeelani said. 

“We have taken samples and also requested the Irrigation and Flood control department to increase the water level near Chattabal Veer which would provide adequate oxygen supply to fish in the water body,” the director said urging people not to pay any heed to rumors.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr. Syed Abid Rashid in a statement said, “we have taken water samples as well as the samples of fish. Most of the fish washed up ashore are not dead suggesting that the oxygen content of the river water is low. Technical team visited various spots and suggest further tests which will be done immediately.”

“However general public is requested not to panic. The administration is seized of the matter and working hard to ensure that no untoward incidents occur,” the DC said.