PANAJI: Cumbarjua MLA Rajesh Faldesai on Thursday called for an end to the ‘fishmafia’ which he said was operational in his constituency and causing untold trouble to the farming community in the village.
“There is a fish mafia that is operational in the constituency. They take the tide gate (manos) on contracts they are supposed to place the net at the time of low and high tides at the tide gate (manos). But instead they are flooding people’s fields (with saline water). In my constituency there are 40-45 tide gates in my constituency which are sites of illegal fishing,” Faldesai said.
“The minister should act on this,” Faldesai said.
“The farmers work very hard to sow the fields entire families work to sow the fields. People need to fill their stomachs through agriculture. But they (the mafia) have no constraints and no one to keep a check on them. I am asking the government to put an end to the fish mafia but till today nothing is done,” he said.
“Come what may, we have to bring this to an end. Today if we sow the fields, by tomorrow the field will be flooded. And there is nobody to question them. Some who raise their voice suddenly receive kalundra (pearl spot) and prawns and they then shut their mouths. But in my constituency there should not continue and I am determined,” he said.
Faldesai also hit out at mafia for what he said was cheating and causing revenue loss to the government by not paying the entire amount they have bid, thus causing loss to the state exchequer.
“I also want to know how many of these people actually pay the amount they have bid for. I heard that the money is not paid. But I want to stress that the government should inquire into how many people are yet to pay them and if there are such cases the auction should be taken back and given to someone else. If they bid for one crore, they pay only 25-lakh and the remaining is not paid at all. When they do not pay the money it is a revenue loss to the government,” he added.
“I want to tell the government that the fish mafia should be terminated,” he said.
Faldesai also called for subsidies to be given to traditional fishermen especially those running canoes with small outboard motors of 2-3 horsepower
“The fisheries department gives subsidies for the 9.5 hp motorised canoes, But I request the fisheries department that the canoes of the traditional fishermen which run on 2.2 hp motors should also be given subsidy,” he said while also calling the government to act against those who are doing illegal fishing using ‘round boats.’
“Illegal fishing taking place in the Mandovi by outsiders — this should be brought to an end,” he said while also calling on the fisheries department to demolish the dilapidated bridge at Akhada and build a small jetty for the kharvi community to dry the nets and other equipment.