Sambalpur: In view of the breeding season of fishes in Hirakud dam, the authorities have imposed a ban on fishing in the reservoir from Monday, reports said. The restriction will remain effective till August 31, informed state Fisheries department deputy director Pabitra Behera.
Around 44 breeds of fish are found in Hirakud. A squad has been formed comprising police, Fishery Cooperative members and Fisheries department officials to ensure the enforcement of the ban, the official said. With the ban order, there will be no fishing at the dam during the fish breeding season.
However, the two-month prohibition on fishing from June 15 till August 15 has led to anxiety among the 4,000 registered fishermen in the area, for whom fishing is the main source of income.
The fishing ban is imposed every year during the breeding season of fish affecting the both the registered and unregistered fishermen in Sambalpur, Bargarh and Jharsuguda districts economically. The affected fishermen have been seeking support from the state government during the ban period, but their requests have never been heard so far.
According to reports, the Sambalpur district administration had sent a proposal in this regard to the state Fisheries department for financial assistance to the fishermen during the two-month fishing ban period. However, the state government is yet to take any decision on the issue.
On the other hand, with monsoon around the corner, focus is on flood management in Hirakud dam. The dam, one of the first multipurpose irrigation projects of the country, has courted several controversies.
The dam, which came into existence more than 50 years ago, has failed to serve its purpose. While the reservoir, which rendered over one lakh persons homeless by acquiring nearly 47,000 hectares, has been a disappointment from the point of view of livelihood gains, it has also failed to achieve its basic objectives–flood control, irrigation coverage for multiple cropping in the command area and generation of hydro-electricity.