Fishing in troubled waters
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana spar over fishing in Krishna & Tungabhadra
Hyderabad: After locking horns over sharing of Krishna and Godavari waters, the two Telugu States seem to be heading for 'Fish War.'
The Telangana Government is gearing up to control the movements of AP fishermen in the name of protecting the interests of the fishermen from this part who catch fish at inter-state projects like Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, Srisailam backwaters and Pulichintala on River Krishna and Somasila and Sunkesula project on River Tungabhadra.
The recent assault on Telangana fishermen allegedly by AP counterparts at Pulichintala project near AP and Telangana border, the Telangana government decided not to allow Andhra fishermen to enter into Telangana waters in the Krishna basin to catch fish. The government resolved to keep a strict vigil on the entry of fishermen from the neighbouring state. It is also unhappy that the AP does not release fishlings in Sagar reservoir. Whatever fish is available there is because of the efforts made by the Telangana government which takes up release of large scale fishlings every year.
Top officials of the Telangana State Animal Husbandry and Fisheries department said that complaints have been received from the fishermen community from border districts of Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda and Suryapet that they are facing hurdles in fishing from fishermen from Andhra who enter Telangana territory in large numbers. The TS Government has given permits to as many as 5,800 fishermen in those districts to catch fish.
At the ground level, others who did not possess permit cards were also fishing and most of them were from Andhra. "After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, fishermen of the two states were confined to fishing in their own territories," an official said. Telangana has launched the release of fishlings in Krishna every year from 2015 and the production has been increased and this has made fishermen from Andhra to fish in TS territory.
The officials said every year, the Fisheries department releases about 10 crore fishlings while the AP's contribution was zero. If joint fishing is to be made, then they too should release fishlings. The AP government was not spending any money to improve fish production, the officials added.