Odishatv Bureau

Jharsuguda: At a time when Odisha's concerns over decline in water flow of Mahanadi River are yet to be addressed, its fish resources are being targeted by Chhattisgarh.

Lakhanpur block under Jharsuguda district is house to the backwaters of Mahanadi water from Hirakud dam. However, it is reportedly under control of a fishing mafia from Chhattisgarh. Sources said that the mafia is not only using illegal fishing methods, but also camping on the river bed and every day truckloads of fish are transported to Chhattisgarh.

"As the river flowing through our area has dried up, we have moved here for fishing to earn a living," admitted Laxmi, a fisherwomen from Chhattisgarh.

Fishermen from Chhattisgarh are coming here for fishing and it has adversely affected our business, said Laxman Bagarti, a fisherman from Odisha.

"They have no rights to carry out fishing here. They shouldn't come to Odisha for such activities; it's illegal.

- said another fisherman, Bibek Majhi.

Jharsuguda collector, Bibhuti Bhusan Patnaik said that the administration recently came to know about the illegal fishing activities by Chhattisgarh fishermen in Odisha waters.

"We will take strict action against those involved in any type of fishing activities in Odisha waters. We have already informed the police to conduct raids," said Patnaik.