Odisha: Balikuda Prawn Gherie occupants staged a demonstration, demand to abandon Gheries demolition

Report by Kahnu Nanda; Jagatsinghpur: Hundreds of Prawn Gheri growers and prawn culture dependents from Kusapur, Anantapur, Marichipur, Naharana, Baramunduli, Rahana Panchayat’s under coastal Balikuda block staged demonstration and protest meeting in front of collector office here on Tuesday demanding to suspend the Gheri demolition drive by civil administration scheduled to start from their areas from August 18.
Meanwhile, reports said that a five-member’s representative of Gheri owners met Additional District Magistrate [ADM] Jagatsinghpur and submitted a memorandum seeking intervention.
The report said that as many as 500 acres of forest land have been detected under Mala and Marichapur revenue circles under Balikuda Tahasil which has been allegedly utilizing for prawn cultivation by local people.
Basing on forest department instruction to make free the land from the encroachers, Balikuda Tahasildar had issued notices to the alleged encroachers to demolish the prawn Gheries from the forest land before August 15 failing this administration would be taken step disassembling the alleged Gheries from the locality.
The prawn Gheri grower’s body leader Prasanta Kumar Hati who was leading the agitation informed that responding Tahasildar notice as many as 228 Gheri growers had presented in revenue court held in RI circles Mala and Marichapur, disposing of the cases Revenue department had imposed Rs 3,000 fine per acre against the prawn growers those had been occupied forest land. Ironically after a week passed administration is issuing a notice to evacuate the land. Meanwhile, we have been investing Rs lakhs over the prawn cultivation this year, it is impossible to vacate the land when the prawn breeding season is underway, Hati revealed.

We have been cultivating the prawn firming by excavating ponds in our own lands for years, few of the forest land has been occupied, and the demarcation set by forest department identifying the forest land find flaw we demand its correction and allow the continuance of our profession as because thousands would be unemployed if the Gheri demolition drive launched, informed Artabandhu Biswal a Gheri grower. [Ends]