Basudevpur: Illegal prawn gherries which have come up near rivers, creeks, and even canals in this coastal block of Bhadrak are playing spoiler for paddy farming. Inaction against the illegal prawn gherry owners has caused deep resentment among local farmers.
Some rivers, creeks, and canals merge with the Bay of Bengal. For the last few years, a large number of prawn gherries have been set up in these riparian areas.
The polluted water and effluents from prawn treatment plants have severely affected paddy cultivation leaving farmers worried.
In some areas, farmers are unwilling to take up paddy farming while the administration has failed to curb such illegal activities.
Acres of land have been illegally occupied by some people on both sides of Gamei river near Chudamani ghat where they have set up hundreds of prawn gherries.
Besides, thousands of prawn gherries have come up along East Coast canal from Charibatia Ghat to Ramchandrapur village.
“The dirty and noxious water and effluent from the gherries not only pollute water, but also foul the atmosphere. The result is that people are affected by various diseases,” the villagers lamented.
They also alleged that the canal’s water is used more by prawn plant owners than by farmers.
The chemical-laced water of the prawn gherries is allegedly released into a canal passing through Jaykrushnapur and Sanakrushnapur.
Besides, domestic animals drink the contaminated water from canals and end up being diseased.
The local farmers have demanded immediate action against the polluting prawn gherries.