Telangana, Andhra now at odds over fishing in 2 rivers
Hyderabad: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which are sparring over sharing of Krishna and Godavari river waters, are now gearing up for another standoff over fishing on Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers.
These rivers run through the border of the two Telugu-speaking states and are conducive for fishing. Most
of the fishing activity takes place at Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, Srisailam backwaters and Pulichintala project on the Krishna, and Somasila and Sunkesula projects on the Tungabhadra.
Telangana fishermen are miffed that their counterparts from Andhra Pradesh enter into frequent brawls with them and ruin their business. A couple of weeks ago, around 15 Telangana fishermen were allegedly attacked by a few Andhra fishermen at Pulichintala project. This is among a series of attacks that have taken place since the bifurcation of the two states in 2014.
Following the latest brawl, the Telangana government decided not to allow Andhra fishermen to enter into Telangana waters in the Krishna basin to catch fish.
On Thursday, fishermen met Telangana animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav to
work out a plan of action for stopping the attacks. Yadav assured that the K Chandrasekhar Rao government will keep a strict vigil on the entry of fishermen from the neighbouring state.
A top official from the Telangana Fisheries Cooperative Society, on the condition of anonymity,
said, “It has been decided that a strategy to avoid frequent brawls will be discussed by the government at all fishing hamlets and stern action will be taken. There is no clarity yet on what type of action would be taken up. Once we figure out the needs of the fishermen, we will submit a plan of action to the state government.”
The Telangana government is also miffed that Andhra Pradesh does not release fishlings in its reservoirs.
“Whatever fish is available is only because of the efforts made by the Telangana government. We have been releasing about 10 crore fishlings every year in July and September from 2015 unlike Andhra Pradesh, which does not do it. This has made fishermen from Andhra to fish in our territory,” said the fisheries society official.
Another bone of contention of Telangana is the issue of licence to fishermen. The state says that it has given licences to 5,800 fishermen in the border districts of Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda and Suryapet. However, fishermen have complained that many who did not possess permit cards were also fishing and most of them hail from Andhra.
Telangana officials say that if a decision is taken on joint fishing, then Andhra too should release fishlings. The fisheries department officials want Andhra Pradesh to spend money on fish production.