| Dead fish float in the Suryakund pond in Gaya. Picture by Suman |
Hundreds of fish are dying everyday in the Suryakund pond because of its depleting water level following a prolonged dry spell.
The soaring temperature, lack of pre-monsoon rain and the depleting water level have spelled doom for the aquatic plants in the pond. The dead plants choke the gills of the fish, killing them and polluting the pond. While Surya-kund used to receive water from the Falgu , a motor installed on the riverbed brings water to the pond these days.
The stench emanating from the pond is causing much discomfort for the residents living around the pond.
Krishna Prasad Gupta, a trader who lives on the northern end of Suryakund, said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to bear the foul smell of the dead fish.”
Prahlad Gurda, a swimmer, said: “Suryakund has been a favourite pond for swimmers in the town. But we cannot practise in the pond these days because of the depleting water level.”
District fisheries officer Kumar Vimal Prasad inspected the pond on Wednesday following a direction from district magistrate Bandana Preyashi. “The depleting water level and high temperature are killing the blooms and, subsequently, the fish. A report has been sent to the district magistrate. The report suggests pouring a mix of 2-3kg of potassium permanganate and 150kg calcium hydroxide (oxidising agents) in the water to stop the plants from dying. Besides, lime can be sprinkled into the pond,” Prasad said.
Social activist Suresh Narayan, who lives on the eastern end of the pond, told The Telegraph: “A motor with a capacity of 3 horsepower was installed around three years ago in the Falgu riverbed to maintain the water level of the Suryakund in summer. But the motor got burnt around a year ago and was taken away for repair. In the absence of the motor, the water level could not be maintained. The water level is barely two-to-four feet.”
Another 5HP motor was installed in the Falgu riverbed on Wednesday after Gaya Municipal Corporation commissioner Dhaneshwar Chaudhary and superintending engineer Ashok Kumar Singh visited the pond. Singh added that a 2HP motor on Thursday in the Falgu riverbed to increase Suryakund’s water level. A line from the regular water supply to the city from the reservoir at Mangala Gauri Hills, around 1.5km southwest of Suryakund, has also been added to the pond.
The residents are not convinced about the efficiency of the 5HP motor, as it requires a three-phase power supply. Residents said voltage fluctuation, common in the area, leads to a danger of the new motors getting burnt if operated on a low voltage. A 5HP motor needs at least 380volts to run, while a 2HP motor needs around 240volts. Singh raised the issue of erratic power supply to the area at a meeting with Bihar State Electricity Board officials on Wednesday.