Effluent from illegal prawn farms inundate paddy fields in Odisha

“We had urged the district administration to demolish illegal prawn farms several times but they did not pay heed.

Published: 19th November 2022 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2022 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers showing their damaged paddy crops in Mahakalapada block.

Farmers showing their damaged paddy crops in Mahakalapada block. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: Paddy farmers of Mahakalapada block of the district are in dire straits as release of untreated effluent from the illegal prawn farms have rendered their fields useless. Sources said, large tracts of agricultural lands in Jamboo, Karandiapatana, Bhateni and Suniti among other villages of the block, have turned barren as the prawn farm owners dump the effluent into them.

“We had urged the district administration to demolish illegal prawn farms several times but they did not pay heed. Many influential people have forcefully converted large tracts of government and forest lands into prawn farms as a result the areas are dotted with them now,” said Ranjan Manna of Jamboo village.

Another farmer of Suniti village Debendra Mandal alleged that some prawn farm owners deliberately discharged effluent into their paddy fields to take over their farmlands. “Many farmers lost their crops as the effluent inundated their paddy during the harvesting period. We have been fighting with the prawn farmers to save our agriculture lands for a long time now but to no avail,” he added.

Hemant Rout, an environmentalist of Kendrapara agreed increasing shrimp farms are slowly wiping out paddy fields in seaside villages. “Most prawn farms in these seaside villages are illegal as they violate Coastal Regulation Zone and the rulings of the Supreme Court and high court. Many paddy farmers have complained of white patches on their paddy lands and their gradual loss of productivity and this is only because of the presence of so many prawn farms in their vicinity,” Rout alleged.

Contacted, additional tehsildar of Mahakalapada, Pravanjan Mishra informed, the district administration has already began razing the illegal prawn farms as per the order of the high court. “All the illegal prawn farms will be dismantled soon,” he assured. 



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