Shimla, Sep 25 (UNI) Scores of dead fish were seen floating on the surface of Sarsa River in the industrial town of Baddi in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh due to release of toxic effluents by few industrial units, villagers and environmentalists alleged.
The effluents have caused extensive damage to fish and aquatic life in the river and it was for the second time in four months that fish have died in large numbers near Kainduwala village in Mallpur panchayat of Nalagarh sub division of the district.
Untreated water was being discharged by a few industrial units through Sandouli nullah that meets the river between Malpur and Kainduwala villages.
The maximum number of dead fish has been found in a four kilometer stretch of Kainduwala village to Jagatkhana village near the confluence of Hairpur Sandoli and housing board nullahs of the industrial township with the river, they said.
The errant units released their effluents in the nullah and discharge of toxic waste would go undetected during the monsoon season, causing the disaster, they added.
Earlier, extensive damage had been caused to aquatic life in Sarsa River in the months of June and July this year, when hundreds of fish were found dead along the banks of river up to the distance of 23 km.
Following a hue and cry raised by the villagers and environmentalists, a team led by Executive Engineer of the Pollution Control Board, Brij Bhushan visited Sarsa River and collected water samples from the river and nullah to ascertain the presence of toxic substances and pesticides.
Preliminary cause of death of fish in large numbers was due to the presence of pesticides in the water, Mr Bhushan said.
The water samples have been sent to department's laboratory at Parwanoo, while the fish samples would be sent to Dr YS Parmar University of Forestry and Horticulture to find out the pesticide contents in them, he said.
The villagers and the environmentalists have demanded strict action against those units who were responsible for the damage to the aquatic life in the river.