Uppanar Pollution: Fishermen report fish with diseases, suffer loss in sale

Cuddalore, 19 January 2007: Fishermen in Uppanar have reported increased incidents of catching fishes with diseases. In the early hours today, fishermen from Sangolikuppam, D. Govindraju and S. Pugazendhi, noticed at least 3 fishes of a local variety 'Madava' with burnt skin and peeled scales near tail and gills. They were fishing near the canal behind Arkema Peroxide and the proposed site for Chemplast Sanmar PVC plant when they noticed these fishes among the catch.

Fishermen report noticing similar disease in 'Setthakendai' variety of fish too. According to the fishermen "Madava' and 'Setthakendai' are both bottom dwelling fish and they live very close to the river bed. The sediments in Uppanar are visibly polluted and that is the main reason for the diseases in the fish. Fish with similar diseases are also spotted near the canal behind Eachangadu village.

Increase in the diseases of the fish has also affected the livelihood of the fishermen dependent on Uppanar. "People do not buy fish from Uppanar very often as they are scared of getting poisoned", said Pugazendhi. "The pollution in Uppanar has brought down the catch as well as sale of fish", he added.

The fishermen have filed a formal complaint with the District Collector, Fisheries Department and the Pollution Control Board.

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