Trouble brewing over fish tanks

Trouble brewing over fish tanks
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Akividu: Yet another controversy is brewing over lease of 174 acres of land between three villages of...

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Akividu: Yet another controversy is brewing over lease of 174 acres of land between three villages of Chinamillipadu, Kotha Cheruvu and Kalingudem in Akividu mandal for fish tanks.

The villagers, mostly constituting Dalits, obstructed the digging of fish tanks in the leased land on Friday. They alleged that the proposed fish tanks would wreck their lives. "The fish tank water will seep into the neighbouring fresh water tank that has been meeting the drinking water needs of the villagers for long making the water unfit for consumption.

A drinking water tank in Kollaparru village nearby is polluted beyond repair due to the mushrooming of fish tanks around for the past six years," they said and feared that they also would face similar fate if they allow the fish tanks to come up in the vicinity of their village.

They cited other reasons like air pollution due to stinking water in fish tanks that might lead to major health problems to the people. They said most people living there are either small farmers with small land holdings or agriculture workers who have been living there for the past so many years depending solely on farm operations. The fish tanks, if allowed, would endanger their livelihood and force them to migrate from the area, they feared.

The Dalits also alleged that their burial grounds would face inundation threat posing problems for cremation of dead bodies.Alleging that the authorities have sanctioned fish tanks without proper verification, they said that they would complain to the SC, ST Commission against digging of these tanks.

However, a farmer who obtained land under lease for the fish tank said that he had obtained the land under due process of law. It is unfortunate that Chinamillipadu villagers who parted with their land a year ago were speaking differently now. They are determined to go ahead with the fish tank.

An officer of the Fisheries Department, Srinivasa Naik, who was present at the spot, expressed his inability to stop the work as it was being done legally. As both the sides are adamant, the situation remained tense, likely to explode any moment.

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