Mystery shrouds the death of hundreds of fish and crabs in the creek at Bhendkhal in Uran taluka of Raigad district. Locals and environmentalists suspect that the chemical tankers which get cleaned here could be the villain.
The local fishing community complained to the village panchayat which had made a report and approached the Tahsildar.
NatConnect Foundation also brought the issue to the attention of the district authorities.
Tahsildar Bhausaheb Andhare, responding to NatConnect's complaint, immediately sent the water samples to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for analysis.
“I have also alerted the RTO officials about the presence of some tankers in the vicinity of the incident to trace the owners. We have also requested the police to keep an eye on the culprits and take necessary action," he said
The officials examined the mangroves in the area and found that no damage has been done to them, so far.
NatConnect Foundation director BN Kumar appreciated the Tahsildar's prompt action and requested him to get to the bottom of the case.
"As it is, the fishing community has been hit hard due to the burial of a series of wetlands and blocking of intertidal flow by various ongoing projects," Kumar said and pointed out that the chemical pollution menace kills whatever little catch the fishermen get.
This is not the first time that the chemical tanker menace has come to notice. Even the railway tankers were seen getting cleaned in the creek water near the Container Terminal-IV recently.
Authorities must take strict action, said Nandkumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishthan.
The ongoing construction of infrastructure projects has had a deadly impact on the fishing community, Pawar said and decried that even the fishing channels through which the boats go into the sea have been blocked illegally by various infrastructure operators such as JNPA.