TANDO MUHAMMAD KHAN           -          A sudden release of toxic chemical waste into the Phuleli Canal from the industrial areas of Hyderabad has caused deaths of thousands of fish and birds along the sides of the canal.

Experts have blamed the release of highly toxic chemicals from the industries located in the S.I.T.E areas in Hyderabad for having caused the deaths of fish and birds on such a large scale. The fish included tiger-tooth croaker, mullets, terapons, scat and seabream, which, according to experts, apparently had died due to the red tide phenomenon (an unexpected immense growth of small-sized plants and aquatic microorganisms).

When the Sindh Fisheries Department officials were contacted to find out about collecting samples and testing them, an officer of the department said that the department had not collected fish samples directly from the site yet.

When contacted by The Nation, local fishermen Juman Mallah and Qurban Mallah said the poisonous water was also streaming into the canals, the major source of drinking water supply to district Badin, Golarchi, Matli, Talhar, Tando Bago and Degree.

They said that toxic water was so strong that one could not stay still at the supply site even for a moment.

They said water was consumed by people and livestock living in hundreds of villages and small settlements along both banks of the Phuleli Canal, and it could spread epidemics in the area.

They said the toxic water was a constant threat to the environment, forests, livestock, agriculture as well as humans.

Under the law, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is the sole responsible body to look after the industries and take strict and prompt action against those involved.

Such toxic material is required to block release of effluent from Hyderabad industrial areas into the different canals passing through Tando Muhammad Khan, Matli, Talhar, Golarchi, Tando Bago and Thatta