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Fish-death report rules out radiation

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  • Published 20.04.12

Shillong, April 19: The preliminary report on the cause of the death of fishes in Kynshi and Rilang rivers, West Khasi Hills, has ruled out the possibility of radiation from uranium ore exploration.

The report said the two possible reasons are coal mining and spread of toxic substances in the rivers by some individuals.

Briefing reporters on the interim report today, deputy chief minister Bindo Lanong, who also holds the mining and geology portfolio, said two geologists — K.B. Surong and E. Nongbri — visited the spot on April 17 and tested the waters of both the rivers.

Quoting the preliminary report, Lanong said water flowing from the Rilang was crystal clear, whereas water from Kynshi was muddy and had a reddish brown colour besides a lot of impurities.

The dead fishes were found floating in the Kynshi and not Rilang and the uranium site where exploratory drilling was carried out was on the opposite side of the river, the report said.

“According to reports, the contamination in the river could be because of the presence of several tributaries flowing from various adjoining areas with coal mines or coal deposits in villages like Maweit, Diengan Mawhar and Nongjri,” Lanong said.

Indicating that the cause of death of fishes is not because of the radiation from the ongoing uranium ore exploration, Lanong also said the dead fishes did not show any lesion marks on their bodies to indicate the effects of radiation. “Moreover, if there were any radiation effects, it would have affected all aquatic lives and not the fishes alone.”

The geologists said to ascertain the actual cause, the water should be analysed further and post-mortem of fishes in a well-equipped lab.