Residents unhappy over fishing at Halasur Lake

Officers of the Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation Limited (KFDCL) released about 20,000 fingerlings into the Halasur Lake recently.

The fingerlings were brought from Attikatti in Shimoga by the officers and released for the first time into the lake under the National Fisheries Development Board scheme.

“Since fishing is on at the lake everyday, it is important to release fish back to oxygenate the lake and also to improve fish production,” said Narayan K, Assistant Director, KFDCL.

Meanwhile, residents near the lake claim that it is fast depleting due to constant fishing by the Fisherman Cooperative Society, which has been given the rights for five years.

Residents are of the view that rights for fishing in the lake should be entrusted to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which could utilise the generated funds for the upkeep of lakes. Currently, at least 500 kg of fish is procured from all the lakes in the City every 24 hours.

The teams engaged by the contractor concerned, including accountants and clerks, maintain proof of the scales of the operation. The daily income is a minimum Rs 60,000, they said.

The KFDCL officers, however, refuted, insisting that the fishermen’s society, which includes 300 men, earns livelihood from fishing in the lakes.

“The society has obtained permission and licence to fish in the lake. We have instructed not to fish during peak hours, when strollers work out at the lakes in huge numbers. As a result, they fish only at around 5 am,” said another officer.

To save the lake, the Halasur Lake RWA, along with the BBMP and an NGO, have decided to undertake development work.

“The fishermen have built sheds for their convenience. Also, they have been polluting the lake by using it as public urinal since there are no toilets or bathrooms near the lake,” said a regular stroller on the lake.

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