The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 28 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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A year on, Karala still carries filth

Jalpaiguri, Nov. 27: The Jalpaiguri municipality has failed to deliver on its promise to stop people from polluting the river, a year after thousands of fish floated dead in the Karala.

The civic body has decided to mark the incident by releasing fish in the river tomorrow.

On November 28, last year, residents here woke up to see thousands of dead fish floating on the river known as the “Thames of Jalpaiguri”. Tests revealed that the water was contaminated with a cocktail of six pesticides, mainly endosulfan and methyl parathion.

Following the incident, water from the Teesta was pumped into the Karala to lower the level of contamination.

“There was a talk of implementing the Karala Action Plan by the state government. The municipality had promised to be strict about sanitary lines along the river. It had also said it would stop the dumping of solid and medical waste into the river. But nothing has changed. People still dump garbage, hospitals and nursing homes still throw waste into the Karala,” said Sanjib Chatterjee, the covenor of Samaj O Nadi Bachao Committee, a local NGO.

The Congress chairman of Jalpaiguri municipality, Mohan Bose, said: “We had drawn up a Karala Action Plan that included correcting the sewage system in town and dredging and beautifying the river. The plan was sent to the Centre and the state in February. But there has been no response.”

He added that many sewage lines along the river were disconnected after last year’s incident.

“Our main aim is to create awareness of the importance of the river and prevent fishing. That is why we will release rohu, katla, bata, and other fish into the Karala tomorrow,” Bose said.