Speculation over pollution of the Ooty Lake, which had been surfacing off and on for sometime now, has moved up several notches since Tuesday following the death of a large number of fish.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in this holiday destination, the lake has been teeming with tourists for the past few weeks.

While dead fish weighing only about one kilogram were found floating near the new Boat House at the far end of the lake on Tuesday, a large number were found dead on Wednesday.

Speculation

Even as it triggered considerable speculation among various sections of the society here, the Assistant Director of Fisheries V.Eashwaran told The Hindu that though pollution was a source of concern the cause of death was suspected to be depletion of oxygen owing to the water in the lake being made turbid by a spurt in the inflow of storm water through the Kodappamund channel which cut through the town.

Stating that the dead fish belonged to the common carp variety, he said that most of them were fingerlings.

Arrangements had been made to bury them in a suitable place.

Adverting to an earlier instance, he said that samples which had been sent to the Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tuticorin for analysis had revealed that the water was contaminated and the fish had died due to lack of oxygen.

However the fish were not infected. He added that the movement of motorboats would automatically increase oxygen circulation.

The Municipal Engineer, Ramoorthy claimed that municipal sewage was not entering the lake through the channel.

However, an inspection of the channel would be carried out, he added.

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