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After trout fish worth lakhs die, Fisheries Department stops operation of walnut husk extract machines

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A day after tout fish worth lakhs died due to the negligent approach of a walnut businessman, the Department of Fisheries in South Kashmir’s Anantnag not only confiscated walnut peeling machinery of the accused but also directed the officers to immediately halt the operation of these machines along the banks of water bodies.

The machinery was confiscated under the supervision of Deputy Director Fisheries Anantnag Muhammad Sidiq.

Pertinently, at Dalseer Wahdhan area near the health resort Pahalgam, Trout fish worth 20 lakhs suffocated to death due to the intermingling of Walnut Green Husk extract with the water of a stream that was a source of water for the trout units. Most of the people doing walnut business have installed machinery on the banks of streams and the husk of walnuts after peeling goes directly into the waterbodies which proves harmful to aquatic life.

Taking cognizance of the tragic incident, Deputy Director Fisheries Anantnag Muhammad Sidiq issued a circular on Tuesday directing all the Circle in charges to conduct an extensive survey and verification to locate the walnut peeling machine operators in their jurisdiction and serve notices to them. He impressed upon all the concerned officers to get the machines halted with immediate effect till further orders.

“A large number of automatic walnut peeling machines have been installed at various places across Anantnag mainly on or near the water resources without making any proper arrangement for prompt disposal of green husk extract which contains certain harmful chemicals that if amalgamated with the water may not only cause pollution but may have drastic effects on the aquatic life. The operators of the machines have neither followed proper procedure or disposal of the green husk extracts nor sought NOC from the concerned departments.”

Deputy Director Fisheries Anantnag Muhammad Sidiq while talking to the news agency Kashmir News Trust said that they don’t want the living of these walnut traders to get affected but at the same time, these businessmen have to understand the impact of their actions on aquatic life. “Those who operate these machines for peeling walnuts should find a proper place and should follow a proper mechanism,” he said.

He confirmed that the heavy machinery of the man responsible for the killing of trout fish of his relative running a private farm has been seized. “We have already halted the operation of these machines,” he said adding that nobody will be allowed to spoil the trout business in the district.

He said there is a great scope for trout farming and already over 260 private trout farms exist in different parts of the district. [KNT]

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