CUTTACK: The reemergence of illegal prawn gheries in the Chilika lake dominated the Orissa High Court proceedings hearing a PIL on Monday.A video clip was shown to the court by advocate Sukant Dalai representing All-Odisha Fishermen’s Federation at the start of post-lunch session. The footage showed illegal prawn gheries have resurfaced over an area of more than 2,000 acres in Siandi under Krushna Prasad Tahasil in Puri district.
While presenting the video clip, Dalai alleged there is constant reemergence of illegal prawn gheries in the Chilika area despite demolition. The authorities were failing to track the reappearance of such unauthorised operations. No action was taken on complaints, Dalai also alleged.Puri Collector Samarth Verma who was present virtually assured demolition of the illegal prawn gheries within 24 hours.
Taking note of the video clip and the Puri Collector’s assurance the division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice RK Pattanaik gave the Collector time till Thursday (April 7) to ensure demolition of all the illegal prawn gheries shown in the video.
The court was taking stock of the progress of demolition of illegal prawn gheries as part of adjudication of a suo motu PIL registered by it for the protection of the ecology of two wetlands - Chilika lake and Bhitarkanika.
It had issued an order earlier directing advocate Sukant Dalai to contact at least five of the villagers and send photographs or videos if any of illegal prawn gheries operating in Chilika area to the Collector and the SP.