Srinagar: The registered fishermen from North Kashmir’s Sopore town Saturday staged a protest against what they said illegal netting rampant in the Wular Lake. Wular Lake is Asia’s largest fresh water lake, but has been under tremendous pressure from encroachment, and official apathy.
The protesters who assembled here under the banner of ‘Sopore Fishermen Union’ alleged that some employees of the Fisheries Department after taking bribes to allow some unscrupulous elements to go for illegal netting.
“The rampant corrupt practice has affected our business. Despite not being registered, some elements pay bribes to some employees of the Department and resort to illegal netting. We took up the issue with Assistant Director Fisheries who did nothing,” the protesters said, adding that illegal netting in Wular lake has been posing a serious threat to fish resources.
“Ilegal netting by some outsiders who are hand in glove with fisheries officials is posing threat to livelihood of thousands of registered fishermen in the area,” they alleged.
Director Fisheries, Rajnath Pandita said that they have already removed the corrupt employees and are trying best to address all the genuine demands of these fishermen. He said action will be taken against accused employees.
“Let these fishermen directly call me on my cell number if they face any problem or somebody is demanding bribe from them, I will take action,” Pandita said.
(With inputs from CNS)