Kendrapara, Sept 29 (LocalWire): Officials demolished nearly 200 hectares of illegal shrimp farms in Hariabanka village under Mahakalapada forest range of Kendrapara district on Tuesday.
“All illegal shrimp farms violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules will be demolished,” said Soubhagya Ranjan Panda, the Tahsildar of Mahakalapada.
“We are planning to plant mangrove saplings over the demolished illegal shrimp farms, in order to convert the area into mangrove forest,” added the officer.
“Illegal shrimp farms pose a threat to the nearby environment, as they dump effluents into nearby rivers and ponds.
While this pollutes the groundwater sources of the area, it also poses a direct threat to the nearby rich mangrove forests.
Many villagers of Hariabanka have also blamed the effluents from the illegal prawn farms for destroying their fertile agricultural land,” added the forest officer.
Mamata Mohapatra, the district fisheries officer of Kendrapara, said, “Only 729 shrimp farmers of the district have registered their shrimp farms.
Farmers cultivating shrimp without registering with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) are liable to be imprisoned for three years and levied a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh.”
“As paddy cultivation is not a profit-making business in the seaside villages, we have converted our lands into prawn farms.
Many villagers had applied for permission to set up prawn farms, but their applications are gathering dust in the office,” said Ranjit Das, a shrimp farm owner of Hariabanka.