Eviction of 500 acre illegal prawn gheries in Khurda begins

Bhubaneswar: In a major crackdown on prawn farming mafias, the process to evict illegal prawn gheries spanning across 500 acres began on Tuesday at the Sorana area in Chilika of Khurda district. The 5-day eviction drive is being jointly conducted by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) and the Khurda district administration.

According to sources, all the illegal gheries in the 30km range till Badakula area will be destroyed by the authorities.

Sources informed that after the administration came to know that illegal prawns are being farmed under the water, a decision was taken to destroy those gheries. Such a step has been welcomed by the local fishermen community.

“The fishermen here are not being able to fish due to these illegal activities. Whatever, fish seeds are available the mafia used to capture them by building these illegal gheries,” said fisherman Nibas Behera.

“A group of around 50 persons used to create ruckus and threaten us with weapons. We want such gheries should not be allowed. Because of such illegal practices we are losing our livelihood and are forced to migrate to other States in search of employment,” said another fisherman Ladua Behera.

While Tuesday’s eviction was carried out in presence of the district magistrate, in a bid to prevent any untoward incident, two platoons of armed police forces was deployed in the area.

“We have got technical people who can track down the gheries and eliminate them. Such a drive will bring huge losses to the illegal farmers and would prevent them from undertaking such activities in future,” said Chilika Tehsildar Sweta Kumar Das.