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Uppanar fishermen complain about pollution; give a sample of river water to TNPCB for analysis

Cuddalore, 16 February 2007: Fishermen in river Uppanar have once again complained about the pollution in the river and have taken a sample of the river water for TNPCB to analyze the contents and inform them about the problem. According to T. Govindraju and S. Pugazendhi of Sangolikuppam village the water quality in the river Uppanar has been suspicious for the last three days (13, 14,15 February). The fishermen have reported strong itchy sensations as soon as they get in touch with water. Even though there is no odour or colour in the water they have noticed a persistent oily film on the river water. No fish kills have been reported but changes in the behaviour of some of the bottom dwelling fishes like prawns have been noticed. According to the fishermen prawns are not seen on the river surface normally but for the last three days they have been noticing prawns on the river surface or jumping in the air thus according to them indicating a shortage of oxygen in the water.

Since their repeated complaints in the previous instances have not been adequately investigated and TNPCB has not even bothered to analyze the water samples the fishermen themselves drew a one-litre sample of the water at about 5 am on 15 February 2007 and delivered it to the TNPCB office for analysis. The sample was taken from the Uppanar river near Kudikadu village between TANFAC and SPIC units. Since there was high tide in the river there was a large quantity of water flowing from North to South. The Assistant Environment Engineer (AEE) of TNPCB has accepted the sample and promised to share the results as soon as it is ready.

Fishermen have demanded that the TNPCB maintains strict vigilance on the Uppanar water quality and ensure that there is no discharge of effluents in the river as that would threaten their livelihood.

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