The Uran police has registered a case against an unidentified person after hundreds of fish were found dead at Khopta Bridge creek, Bhendkhal in Uran taluka last week. The police registered a case following a complaint from the Regional office of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
Police suspect that some industry might have released chemicals in the creek causing the death of fish. An MPCB official visited the site and collected fish as well as water samples for laboratory tests.
Villagers inform MPCB
Field Officer of regional MPCB Taloja Ashok Rao Sonkamble approached the police after visiting the site on December 16. As per his complaint, villagers from Kundegaon in Uran taluka informed the regional MPCB office regarding the dead fish floating in the creek. A team of Regional MPCB Taloja visited the site on December 15 evening and noticed dead fish were floating in the water and also on the creek. The weight of the dead fish was from 50 grams to 100 grams.
During inspection, villagers alleged that the fish died due to the illegal discharge of chemical-laden industrial wastewater into the bay by a tanker.
FIR registered against unknown persons
Based on the site visit, MPCB officials registered an FIR against unidentified persons for an alleged illegal dump of liquid industrial wastewater in the bay causing danger to citizens, living beings and the environment and violating the rules of industrial wastewater.
A case has been registered at Uran police under sections 268, 269, 270, 277, and 278 of the Indian Penal Code, sections 43, and 44 of the Water Pollution Control Act 1974 and section 15 of the Environment Protection Act 1986.
Earlier in June 2022, hundreds of fish and crabs were found dead in the creek at Bhendkhal in Uran taluka. After locals and environmentalists raised concern, the tehsil office had visited the site and collected the samples and sent them to MPCB for further investigation.
Reacting to the incident, B N Kumar, Director - NatConnect Foundation, said: "Oil and chemical pollution are perennial issues in Uran creeks. We have been drawing the attention of the agencies concerned time and again yet they have failed to take deterrent action against the culprits. At the most, the pollution control board officers register an FIR against unidentified people which is of no use at all."
Head of Sagar Shakti, the marine division of Vanashakti, Nandakumar Pawar said: "There should be a detailed examination of all points where the rail and road chemical tankers are washed. The district administration must install a CCTV camera network and catch the culprits immediately. Deterrent punishment should also be fixed for the culprits."
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