Dhenkanal: Fish farmers of Gandia area in Dhenkanal district were hopeful that they would earn a decent earning this season. But what transpired was a bitter demonstration of the saying ‘Man proposes, God disposes’.
The rush of floodwaters from Brahmani river has washed away the fingerlings from their ponds, thereby washing away their hope for a good harvest as well.
These poor fish farmers are now under severe mental stress. They had invested all they had with them with some having borrowed loans from friends and relatives. As of now they have no new avenues left to start afresh.
As per the information shared by Gandia block fishery department, fish farming has largely been affected after floodwaters entered Mandar panchayat, Kendupada of Kaluria panchayat and Bhaliapat village of Kasipur panchayat.
In Bhaliapat village, two SHGs had released fingerlings in ponds. All the fingerlings have been washed away in the floodwaters.
Similarly, Dushmant Mallick, a fish farmer of Chittalpur village of Mandar panchayat alleged the flood has left him nowhere as his 55 quintals of fingerlings have been washed away in floodwater. “There was a sudden rush of floodwater from Brahamani river Thursday night.
In the floodwater, all the fish and fingerings of my ponds were swept away. Due to this, I have suffered a loss of Rs10 lakh. But for government assistance, we cannot survive,” he said.
Another farmer, Khirod Chandra Samal of Kendupada has a similar plight to share. He had dug five ponds in his two acres of land and was rearing fish in them. In the floodwaters, over 10 quintals of fish and fingerlings from his pond have been washed away. “I have incurred a loss between Rs 20 to 25 lakh in the recent flood. The government should provide insurance facility for fish farming,” he observed.
Meanwhile, district assistant fishery director Diptiranjan Mohapatra and block assistant fishery officer Sarat Kumar Jena paid a visit to the affected areas to take stock of the situation and assess the loss suffered by the farmers.
When contacted, block assistant fishery officer Jena said the report on the loss suffered by fish farmers due to floods has been placed before the district assistant fishery director. The affected farmers will be compensated once the government sanctions the funds,” he added.