Mayor orders probe into dead fish in Sg Gombak

A DBKL officer collecting samples of the dead tilapia for lab tests.

KUALA Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan wants an immediate investigation to be carried out into the dead fish incident in Kuala Lumpur.

Nor Hisham said preliminary investigations showed that the source of contamination was from upstream of Sungai Gombak near the Pekeliling area.

He said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Health and Department of Environment’s pollution control unit and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Department of Environment (DOE WPKL) were deployed to the scene when they learned of the incident.

“My team reported that the water (river) was greenish and looked cloudy, ” he said.

“They were not able to determine the reason for the change in colour.

“There are many public drains flowing into the river but there are no industrial buildings nearby.”

Nor Hisham said investigations were also carried out upstream near the Puah flood retention pond under the Federal Territory Drainage and Irrigation Department.

Sungai Gombak was filled with thousands of dead fish last week.Sungai Gombak was filled with thousands of dead fish last week.

He said there was a possibility that contamination occurred when water was released from the pond resulting in organic or pollutant content to increase rapidly, causing the fish to die.

The mayor said DOE WPKL collected samples, which were sent to the Chemistry Department and Global Environment Centre (GEC) for further tests.

Last week, Kuala Lumpur folk were disturbed by the sudden emergence of thousands of dead tilapia fish floating in various parts of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang.

In some areas the dead fish were seen along the edges of riverbanks, monsoon drains and clogging up log booms as well as pollutant traps placed in the rivers to trap rubbish.

The incident sparked concern of possible river contamination and nearby residents reported the matter to the authorities last week.

Some used the Citizen’s Eye, a mobile application to report the matter by uploading pictures of the dead fish.

Citizen’s Eye was developed under the River of Life Public Outreach Programme (RoL-POP) for residents to report on incidences of river pollution.

GEC River Care programme manager Dr K. Kalithasan said the incident could have been caused by chemical pollution from the river upstream or illegal dumping of hazardous matter.

Last month, thousands of fish died in Sungai Kayu Ara in Petaling Jaya and though wastewater was suspected to be the cause, this however was denied by Indah Water Konsortium.

Sentul resident Richard Kumar said he was alarmed upon seeing dead fish floating in the monsoon drain behind his house.

“I wondered what could have made the fish to die like that, ” Richard said, adding that he called DBKL hotline to lodge a complaint.”

Another resident, Wong Chin Huat, said he spotted the dead fish when he went to DBKL in Jalan Raja Laut to pay his assessment.

“I parked my motorcycle behind the DBKL building and noticed

lots of dead fish floating in the river at the back of the building, ” he added.

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