Binika: Rampant fishing through explosion in Jira river using dynamites and other explosives has become a cause of serious concern for the people here in Subarnapur district. This dangerous and illegal act of fishing poses a severe threat to the river ecosystem, reports said. Though an easy method to catch fishes from the river, blast fishing highly contributes to the destruction of aquatic animals and plants in the riverbed.
Such methods of fishing destroy habitats of aquatic wildlife, killing animals indiscriminately. This apart, it has affected the livelihood of local fishermen who depend on the Jira and Mahanadi river for livelihood as the fish catch has reduced. As per the allegations, some anti-social elements are illegally using blasts as a method of fishing, despite protest by locals. They are exploding dynamites or other chemicals to catch fish from the river. “The unbridled explosions are not only causing destruction to the aquatic ecosystem in the river but also polluting its water, leading to serious setbacks to the livelihood of thousands of fishermen community in the region,” a local fisherman alleged adding that it is also causing serious health hazards.
Flowing through Sarangpalli and Hutuma under Bankighirdi gram panchayat of Binika block, Jira river falls in Mahanadi at Arigaon village. The river is home to a variety of fishes. In a bid to catch the fishes in huge quantities, the mafia gangs put explosives inside beer bottles and use it for the blasting. Locals have further alleged that despite sincere requests, officials are not bothered to curb the illegal act and take necessary action. “Fishing is our lifeline but the illegal blasting has affected our livelihood so much that our children are forced to go out of state in search of income,” rued a local fisherman. When contacted, Binika tehsildar Mukteswar Panigrahi said, “This illegal blasting in rivers to catch fish is a punishable offence. I have directed the local revenue inspector (RI) to conduct a probe and take stringent action in this connection.”
On the other hand, the police have assured to take stringent action against those found guilty in the case. “We haven’t received any complaint about the illegal blasting. We will take steps to stop the illegal act,” Binika IIC Pabitra Sahu said.