The tussle between the two departments over the construction of a bridge on Nallah Lidder at Akura locality in Mattan area of Anantnag district has led to a severe damage to the water life in the Lidder River.
The locals have been collecting and taking away the stranded fish in baskets since last five days now with no department able to stop this loot.
Nallah Lidder, originating from the mighty Himalayan peaks in Pahalgam region of Anantnag district, is famous for trout and other variety of fishes, the breeding season of which is currently on.
According to the Fisheries department, its officials did visit the spot after receiving reports about the operating of huge machinery by the R&B department but they were pelted with stones and manhandled by the employees of Roads and Buildings department on last Saturday, who have taken up the construction of the bridge without their consent or a proper No Objection Certificate and have started making a river diversion on their own. The deputy director fisheries did try to lodge a formal complaint with the concerned police station, after the Saturday’s manhandling incident, but the SHO declined to register the report.
“We apprised the Executive Engineer R&B department, division Khanabal through a letter, vide number DDF/ANG/2017-18/1573-78 dated 12-11-2018 that the work they have taken up was going on illegally as they did not seek the NOC. The operation of huge machinery has inflicted a colossal loses to the assets of the department and we did seek a report from the department. Despite this, the R&B officials did not bother to take us on board so that we could have taken precautionary measures to save the livestock of exotic fish spawn. On Saturday when we received a tip off about the looting of stranded livestock by locals due to the diversion made by R&B department, we sent a team of officials who were manhandled and forced to leave the spot. We have now informed the Deputy commissioner Anantnag also about this manhandling incident and also seek a registration of case against the employees of R&B department”, said deputy director fisheries, Mohammad Ashraf Darzi.
The fisheries department in a fresh letter to DC Anantnag, number DDF/ANG/2018-19/1678-83 dated 1st December 2018, states, “It is strange enough to inform your goodself that now the government employees do not respect the law and are using every means to use their authority according to their will without taking into consideration the service conduct rules. One such episode has taken place today on 01-12-2018 at Akura where R&B employees have resorted to unlawful activity by diverting the course of the river Lidder without bothering for the safety of Livestock of fish or even informing this department about the act. The field staff of this department while enquiring about the diversion of course of river from the R&B employees without permission from any authority, the arrogant R&B employees resorted to manhandling of the Fisheries staff as it seems to be a pre-planned act when the hired goons started thrashing the staff on the behest of the R&B employees”.
However, the Executive Engineer R&B division Anantnag says that they are not supposed to take the NOC from Fisheries department who are blowing the issue out of proportion.
“We have nothing to do with their assets and who are they to question us on operating the machines in the river,” questioned Executive Engineer, Mohammad Ayub.
He further added that, “We are supposed to construct the bridge there and we also told them to keep a look on the project. The river is the property of irrigation and flood control department, from whom we have taken a proper NOC, and not the Fisheries department. We have told the Fisheries department to guide us during our work there. The fisheries department in turn is allowing the tractors to lift the raw material for a royalty of 100 rupees per load from the river, how is that not illegal?”