Gun-toting police take positions in Kalakurru
No resistance from the localsEarthmovers engaged in some areasFishermen rue loss of fish worth Rs. 18 lakhs
ELURU: The West Godavari district administration on Thursday resumed Operation Kolleru amidst heavy police presence.
Well before the start of operation, the gun-toting police from Andhra Pradesh Special Police deployed for the purpose were seen taking position in the narrow lanes of Kalakurru, a fishermen habitation in the plus five contour of Kolleru which was chosen by the district administration for resumption of the operation, in spite of no resistance from the locals.
A 100-acre fish pond near the village was chosen for blasting as a token of resuming the operation.
With this, the Kolleru villages again reverberated with the thundering sounds of blasts after a two-month lull.
It may be recalled that the lull in the operation was due to the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court entertaining a request from a section of fishermen who wanted to be heard by the apex court on the issue before the operation was carried out.
The operation of dismantling the ponds was resumed in all the mandals falling under Kolleru lake on Thursday simultaneously.
Blasting was opted for to breach the ponds in some areas while earthmovers were engaged in some other areas. The administration is in a bind over completing dismantling of all ponds in the prohibited area by the end of May as per the deadline set by the Supreme Court.
The operation at Kalakurru turned out to be a high-profile event as it was carried out under the direct supervision of the official top brass, including Collector Lav Agarwal, Superintendent of Police M. Jaganmohan Reddy, Special Officer, Kolleru N. Mukteswara Rao and Officer on Special Duty P. Munuswamy, who all reached the place after travelling through a narrow stream in country boat for half an hour.
The 100-member fishermen group who raised the fish in the 100-acre pond in encroached lands regretted that fish worth Rs. 18 lakhs were washed away due to the blasting of the pond.