Death of nearly 30 camels after drinking contaminated water at a village lake in the Bharuch district has brought into sharp focus the problem of chemical dumping in Gujarat.
The latest tragedy occurred on Sunday in Kacchipura village in Vagara taluka where a group of camel herders had stopped over near a lake with their animals.
Death of cattle by the dozens soon after grazing on land near chemical plants is not uncommon in Gujarat. But cow vigilantes never get agitated over such tragedies.
Soon after drinking water from the pond on Sunday afternoon, camels started dropping dead one after another prompting the herders to immediately take rest of the animals away.
At least 25 carcasses of camels have been recovered from the site and sent for post-mortem to ascertain the cause of their death.
Eminent environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, who routinely brings out video evidence of chemical units dumping untreated effluents in open fields, told The Statesman that a crude oil pipeline of the ONGC passes through the area.
The contamination of the lake water may be due to leakage or spillage from the pipeline, he added.
Dumping of untreated chemicals is not suspected in this case as there is no chemical factory nearby, Rohit Prajapati said.
Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials have rushed to the lake site to examine the source of contamination of the water which caused the camel deaths.