Fish choke to death in Jakkur lake

Many fish were found dead at Jakkur lake in Bengaluru on August 7, 2022.

Many fish were found dead at Jakkur lake in Bengaluru on August 7, 2022. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Several fish were found dead at Jakkur lake in North Bengaluru, allegedly due to the entry of sewage along with rainwater after the recent rains in the city.

Residents also alleged that they were forced to live with the stench of dead fish despite complaining to (BBMP) officials. They claimed that calls to the BBMP alerting them of the impending tragedy went unanswered. “We have apprised the BBMP officials of this several times. However, no action has been taken so far,” a resident of Jakkur said.

For the last couple of days, the fish in the lakes are dying as a result of the polluted water, the walkers here said, adding that it has been happening after the recent heavy rains. Murali, a daily walker around the lake, said, “We are noticing fish dying from the last couple of days and the stench around the lake has become unbearable, which is affecting all of us, both walkers and nearby residents.”

Asked for a response, a BBMP official from the Lake Department said, “We are cleaning the lake and the dead fish will be cleaned soon, so the walkers and residents will not have any issue with stench. An inspection will be conducted to find out the reason behind the fishkill.”

Manholes open

Citizens' group members believe that one of the reasons behind the deaths of aquatic animals could be the inflow of sewage mixed with rainwater into the lakes. Speaking to The Hindu, V. Ramprasad, co-founder and convenor of Friends of Lakes, said, “During heavy rainfall, the manholes open up as a result of pressure in Bengaluru and large volumes of wastewater mixes with rainwater and flows into the lakes. This is one of the important causes to reduce dissolved oxygen levels in water, resulting in fish gasping for oxygen from the air and subsequently, getting killed.”

In the past few years, various lakes in the city have witnessed similar incidents of fishkill and the lake experts pointed at the sewage water entry into the lakes after heavy rains.

Mr. Ramprasad also blames the Fisheries Department, which awards contracts to fishing at various lakes in the city, for not taking up responsibility to maintain lakes. “The Fisheries Department cannot wash off their hands just by awarding the fishing contracts for Bengaluru's lakes. They should take equal responsibility as the custodian for maintaining the lake water quality and quantity with regular coordination meetings with the custodian, fishermen, and other related departments. Commercial fishing with sustainably sound ecological and environmental standards of the lake as prime parameters should be adopted,” he added.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 4:46:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fish-choke-to-death-in-jakkur-lake/article65740736.ece