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Lease agreement triggers furore in Srikakulam

Lease agreement triggers furore in Srikakulam
Highlights

Controversy erupted over lease agreement on fishing between fisheries department and local fishermen in major irrigation project Madduvalasa reservoir.

Srikakulam: Controversy erupted over lease agreement on fishing between fisheries department and local fishermen in major irrigation project Madduvalasa reservoir. The reservoir is located between Madduvalasa and Magguru villages in Vangara mandal.

Water from Suvarnamukhi and Vegavathi rivers is source for the project. For fishing in the reservoir, lease agreement has been prevailing between fisheries department and local fishermen. On Friday, the Fisheries department officials prevented fishermen from fish hunt saying that they have not paid lease amount.

According to joint director for fisheries V V Krishna Murthy, the lease agreement expired in June between department and fishermen. Fishermen have to pay Rs 9,40,649 to the department as lease amount till this June through their registered society.

"We have been sending notices to the representatives of the society since June, but they are not responding properly," the JD added. But fishermen contested the facts stated by officials and questioned about Tilapia variety fish cultivation amount and cage culture funds.

They also alleged that society membership funds, loans for fishermen and vehicles with subsidy prices for transport of fish also being misused with involvement of officials. On Friday, the fishermen tried to hunt fish in the reservoir violating the orders issued by the officials. To prevent the crisis, fisheries development officer (FDO) K Gopikrishna lodged a complaint with Vangara police on which they started inquiry on Saturday.

"We will not pay the amount and resort to legal fight if required as officials' action is illegal and it is a threat to livelihood of fishermen families," said fishermen society president G Laxminarayana.

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