… to confirm what killed the fishes in Dungsamchhu 

Environment: Samdrupjongkhar thromde officials are still waiting for the results from National Environment Commission (NEC) to find out what caused the fishes in the Dungsamchhu to die.

The commission took water sample to test for chemical and toxicity content of sewerage treatment plant in Samdrupjongkhar to confirm the cause behind the death of some 100 fishes near the treatment plant in November 2015.

The treated water runs from the treatment plant to Dungsamchhu where the fishes were found dead. The plant is located near the meat shop below lower market.

Three samples, IN-LET (raw sewerage), Effluent (after treated) water and a Dungsamchhu water were sent for the test to a research laboratory based in Guwahati, India instead of NEC right after the incident.

One of the thromde officials said samples were taken to Guwahati, which follows World Health Organization permissible standards, because it was the closest place to Samdrupjongkhar.

Although, the result confirmed no chemical or toxic contents in the water sample, commission officials said they had to further test because the result was based on Indian permissible standard.

The sample was taken to verify the result to see if it meets the Bhutan’s environmental standard 2010 based in Bhutan and only then would the water from treatment plant be declared clean.

The commission took the samples sometime in December last year but the result is not yet declared. One of the thromde officials said although they have been trying to follow up they are not sure why the commission hasn’t declared the result yet.

“We were informed the test is completed and the test result has been submitted to the head office but we don’t know why it is taking time to get the result officially,” an official said.

A NEC official said they are done with the test but there are norms they need to follow before declaring the result and said the result would be declared soon, which would officially be handed over to the Samdrupjongkhar thromde office along with recommendations.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar