Fishermen agitated as village tank dries up

47 fishermen families form society

Rs. 1 lakh invested to raise fish in tank

Nine tonnes of fish died in last 5 days

LEFT high and dry: Fishermen collecting dead fish

LEFT high and dry: Fishermen collecting dead fish  

YERRAVARAM (NALGONDA DT.): Dashing the hopes of local fishermen, a section of influential farmers are diverting water from the village tank into their fields resulting in the premature death of fish.

``Nine tonnes of fish died in the last five days due to lack of sufficient quantity of water in the tank. Rich farmers are drawing tank water to cultivate second crop,'' said Basipoyina Bhasker Rao, Sarpanch of this village in Kodad mandal in Nalgonda district.

About 47 families, who formed the "Yerravaram Fishermen Cooperative Society,'' invested more than Rs. 1 lakh to raise fish in the tank -- Pedda Cheruvu -- on the outskirts of the village. However, about 10 farmers are systematically diverting water into their fields.

``The unscrupulous ryots have been filling up open pits with tank water through a drain. Later, they pump it to wet their fields,'' a villager complained.

``I have been asking them to stop drawing water for the last 20 days. At the cost of our fish, they are diverting water to raise second crop in upland areas,'' Mr. Bhasker Rao lamented. The society members had suffered heavy losses in the last three years because of lack of water. This year each family invested more than Rs.1,000 to bring seed from Kaikalur. The society appealed to the Government to come to their rescue immediately. "The lease amount must be waived and action must be initiated against the persons responsible for ruining our livelihood,'' they demanded.

S. Ramu

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