“Fish deaths alarm Mathura” by IANS
January 9, 2011
Mathura, Jan 9 (IANS) Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in the Yamuna river in Mathura in the past couple of days, causing alarm among the devout and the environmentalists in the Hindu holy city.
Priests at the ghats said the deaths were due to the highly toxic water and decreasing oxygen levels.
‘The cold wave has further compounded the problem as the sun’s rays are no longer proving effective,’ director of NGO Friends of Vrindavan Jagan Nath Poddar said.
The Gokul barrage in Mathura has ‘become a huge storage of sewage, industrial effluents coming from upstream towns, requiring urgent clean up measures and release of fresh water to dilute the toxins,’ Poddar added.
Locals said authorities were not running the sewer pumping stations effectively.
‘So many open drains discharge the city’s waste into the river but nothing has been done to stop this,’ a priest at Rameshwar ghat said.
‘So many religious gurus and activists have been demanding proper maintenance of the ghats and tapping of the nullahs in Vrindavan and Mathura, but the district authorities have yet to draw up a plan of action. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board officials too have not bothered to ensure that the silver refineries which use all kinds of toxic chemicals are forced to treat the waste effluents,’ an activist in Mathura said on condition of anonymity.