ibnlive » India

Sep 20, 2007 at 06:18pm IST

Surat fishermen's livelihood at stake

Surat (Gujarat): A deadly message has washed ashore at Dumas Sultanabad near Surat.

Nine varieties of fish including the popular one called Boi that are dead have been littered at a five km stretch of the beach.

Local fishermen blame the toxic effluents discharged by industrial units in the region and are worried that pollution may affect their source of livelihood itself.

“We do not know which poisonous thing was mixed in water but this has happened because of water pollution,” says a fisherman, Pritesh Nandy.

Nandy’s concerns are genuine. A recent study by the US-based Blacksmith Institute & Green Cross identifies Vapi near Surat as one of the world's 10 most polluted places.

Dumas itself is surrounded by the Hazira Industrial Zone and the hundreds of dying and printing units there constantly discharge harmful chemicals into the water.

The government admits pollution is to blame for all this.

''It seems this has happened because of poisoning of water due to the disposal of large amount of chemicals. But the real cause will be known only after the samples are tested,” says Conservator of Forests, Surat Circle, R J Asari.

This is not the first time that dead fish has washed ashore near Surat. Unless urgent measures are taken to control industrial pollution in the area, both humans as well as the environment will continue to suffer.

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