KRISHNAGIRI - Thousands of fish and water snakes have been found dead, floating in a lake near here, forcing the district administration to launch an investigation into a complaint of poisoning, officials said Sunday.
‘Following a complaint from a women’s self-help group volunteer, N. Jyoti, alleging poisoning of a lake in Avadaanappatti village and subsequent discovery of several schools of dead fish, an enquiry has been launched,’ District Collector V.K. Shanmugham told IANS.
‘Rivalry between two groups of contractors, who fought over fishing rights, probably led to poisoning of the lake yesterday (Saturday) night. While boating trips were suspended, water samples and dead fish have been sent for medical examination today (Sunday),’ Shanmugham added.
Inspector General of Police Pramod Kumar told IANS by phone from Coimbatore that the guilty would be arrested shortly.
‘Poisoning a water-body and killing thousands of innocent fish is reprehensible. Other animals and the plant life in the vicinity will get adversely affected too. Certain leads are being followed and arrests will happen shortly,’ Kumar said.
Jyoti said she suspected the lake to be poisoned by miscreants backed by contractors, unhappy with the self-help group.
‘Nineteen of us from Thanjavur invested Rs.500,000 to bring in exotic varieties of fish to be farmed in the waters as part of our endeavour to harvest fresh aquatic food with the help of local contractor Sambasivam. His rival Tirupati Gounder poisoned the lake to prevent us making a profit during the harvest season,’ Jyoti said.
‘Our opponents had vainly staged a demonstration about a month ago demanding the cancellation of the contract awarded to us. Since that did not succeed, our competitors poisoned the lake. Now, we have lost our investment of Rs.500,000 and a paying vocation as well,’ Jyoti added.
Situated 350 km southwest of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, Krishnagiri borders Karnataka state.