Instead of reveling in the early morning freshness yesterday, joggers at Vashi’s mini seashore were hit by a stench while on their morning walk. On investigating, they found around seven to eight kilos of tiny fish dead in the holding pond in Sector 10.
Vashi resident Hariharan Iyer, who goes for his morning walk in the area, said, “The quantity of fish was too large for anyone to miss. A few dead fish in a pond is a normal sight, but there had to be some reason behind so many of them dying together.”
Another regular morning walker from Vashi, Sanika Tamankar, said, “On Monday morning I saw a lot of tiny fish in the pond and was wondering where had they come from. There could be chances that the dead fish were the same ones I saw a day before.”
The cleanliness officer, who was informed of the situation immediately, brought the issue to the notice of the Vashi ward officer Ashok Madhavi who confirmed that around seven to eight kilos of fish were found dead yesterday morning. “Once we got to know of the situation, we sent our people to get the pond cleaned. The water samples have also been collected and would be sent for testing to check the cause of death,” said Madhavi.
The issue has also been brought to the notice of higher officials, she added. Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC), encroachment, Ravindra Matpati, said, “I was telephonically informed about the dead fish at Vashi’s mini seashore in Sector 10. I cannot comment on the cause until the water sample is tested.”
However, environmentalists say that the fish could have died due to some industrial sludge or toxins that may have contaminated the pond. “Mangroves are generally known to filter out toxins that enter the water. However, as there are not many mangroves around the pond, the toxic water from the creek enters the holding pond,” said Dr Tarin Mithel, a bird watcher and environmentalist from Navi Mumbai. “The officials should inform the public about the cause once the results are out so that they can take certain precautions if needed.”
Pranali Lad, corporator of Ward No 46, under which the pond falls, said that the pond gets the water from the sea. “Factories dump their waste into the sea and that enters the pond. There could be chances of industrial waste being dumped, thus killing the fish. The locals did a good thing by bringing the issue to the notice of the concerned officials,” she said.