A five-member committee headed by Panchagarh Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Ahmed Kabir has started investigation into death of the fishes in Nalkura and Sarogara sanctuaries of Karatoa River in Panchagarh Sadar upazila.
Around a month ago, fishes in the two sanctuaries started floating dead and the incident increased badly during the last couple of days allegedly due to dumping of wastes from two industrial units.
The district fishery department lodged a complaint to the district administration in this regard.
Visiting Nalkura and Sarogara sanctuaries in the river on Wednesday, the investigation committee members found a number of dead fishes floating on the river water which is blackish and stinking.
"We are trying to find out the cause of death of the fishes in the sanctuaries. We will file a report in this regard within two or three days," ADC Ahmed Kabir said.
"The river water has turned toxic as Panchagarh Sugar Mills Ltd and Asia Distilleries have continued dumping industrial wastes without refining. Blackish and stinking, the water is almost unusable and the pollution threatens aquatic life including fishes, especially local varieties," said Emdadul Haque, district fishery officer.
Villagers are collecting dead and dying fishes from the sanctuaries during the last two days, said Abdur Razzak, an employee of fishery department, who looks after the sanctuaries.
Over two hundred fishermen of adjoining villages of the sanctuaries who live by fishing in the river are worried as the fishes are dying due to dumping of industrial wastes, said Md Ibrahim, president of Nalkura Abhoyasram Matsajibi Samity.
Contacted over cell phone, the managing director of Panchagarh Sugar Mills claimed that the liquid waste released from the mill is not hazardous as it has no toxic element.
Shamsul Huda, an official of Asia Distilleries, said the waste released from there has no harmful element.