The Delhi Cabinet on Wednesday approved auctioning of fishing activities in 24 water bodies on gram sabha land in the Capital.

At a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, it was decided that fish culture would be encouraged in the water bodies and village ponds to overcome the problem of encroachment of such water bodies situated on gram sabha land.

By virtue of a notification of May 23, 1957, water bodies in the villages of Delhi had become the property of gram sabha.  However, over the years it was noticed that due to increase in population, such water bodies were also being encroached by the people resulting in reduction in natural sources of water and depletion of water table in Delhi.  Further, many of these water bodies had also suffered on account of pollution caused by running of drains and sewerage lines into them.

As per the provision of Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954, it is the duty of gram panchayat to develop activities such as poultry farming and fishery.  Further, the Delhi High Court had directed the Delhi Government to take all precautionary measures for revival and maintenance of water bodies.

In view of this, the Government said the Fisheries Unit of its Development Department had identified 24 such water bodies in North-West District where fishing could be introduced. 

“The Cabinet has decided to auction these water bodies for fishing activities on approved terms and conditions which include utilisation of ponds for only fish and fish seed of cultureable varieties, not to further hand over pond to any other person, no modification in the existing structure in the water bodies and not to do any activity which is not in conformity with the  existing or future laws of environment,'' a statement by the Delhi Government said.

Further, the ownership of lands and ponds shall continue to remain with the gram sabha.  The Cabinet has also approved composition of the proposed auction committees which will conduct auctions .

Keywords: fish farming

More In: Delhi