Fish deaths worry environmentalists, administration in Gwalior

October 27th, 2010 - 2:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Oct. 27 (ANI): The mysterious deaths of fish in the historical Janak Lake of Madhya Pradesh capital Gwalior,is causing concern to environmentalists and local administration.

Dead fishes have been sighted floating along with other pollutants, such as plastic bags, in the lake, which has long been considered a tourist spot.

The administration has said the cause of the deaths are the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses immersed in the lake during festivities.

“We were informed about these fish deaths and we investigated. We have found that a major cause of these deaths is due to the immersion of idols of Indian gods and goddesses in the lake during the festivities. The chemicals used in the paints have dissolved in the water, reducing the oxygen level in the lake,” said Rajesh Pathak, a fish inspector.

Idol-makers use toxic paints to colour idols that leach from them and mix in the lake’s waters, killing the fish and other aquatic life.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia, a lawmaker, appealed to idol-makers to use eco-friendly colours. She further said that environment should be the main priority of Gwalior city.

“I appeal to the idol-makers to stop using hazardous paints in colouring the idols. We are giving so much stress to environment, and this is a major event where environment is being compromised. I will request these idol-makers to use eco-friendly colours. A little more effort will be needed and a little more investment, but the idol will also be sold at the cost at which it’s made. Therefore I appeal to them make idols using eco friendly colours,” said Scindia.

Hindus across India celebrate various religious festivals in September and October, paying homage to deities like Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and Goddess Durga, the destroyer of evil. After the culmination of these festivals the idols are taken for immersion in mass processions.

Every year, thousands of elaborately made and decorated idols of the Hindu deities and other idols are immersed in rivers and other water bodies in accordance with the Hindu faith.

Environmentalists say modern paints contain metals like mercury, cadmium and lead, which can be passed up through food chain from fish to human beings. (ANI)

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