Fisheries Deptt takes stern action against illegal fishing in Rawal Lake
ISLAMABAD—The Fisheries Department of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has recently taken stern action against the elements involved in illegal fishing at the Rawal Lake and confiscated equipment used for this purpose. Deputy Director Sadiq Buzdar told APP Monday that his department during past five months has confiscated four peter diesel engines, 50 iron rods, three tubes, ten big and five small fish nets, over 2000 Patties, 250 Kundis and Dories and one wooden and 2 air-filled boats used in illegal fishing.
To a question, he said that population has swelled around the lake and influential people living there have their own boats. He said there are over 150 boats in the lake, many of them were being used for illegal fishing at night.He demanded the removal of boats from Rawal Lake, which are being used for illegal fishing. Buzdar said that despite a ban being imposed on boating in the lake, no steps had been taken to implement the ban and remove the boats.
The official said that the police were not cooperating with the fisheries department by showing reluctance to register an FIR against the people involved in illegal fishing.
The people involved in illegal activity also misbehave with the fisheries staff when they are barred from fishing, he said. He said that if illegal fishing was stopped, the department could earn up to Rs100 million per year in licence fee.
Buzdar said that despite the paucity of staff and the required equipment, his department confiscated a equipment used in illegal fishing in the last one year.
He said that the department had earned over Rs 900,000 in licence fee since May.”Often the fisheries department is blamed for failure to control illegal fishing but nobody takes notice of its financial constraints Corruption in varsity land and the shortage of staff and the requisite equipment,” the official said. Answering a question, he said that the two boats of the department are very old and in poor condition and only Rs200,000 per annum were given for purchase of their fuel.
The official said that he had only eight watchmen at his disposal who had to work for extended hours to guard the lake.
The official said that there was no police check post near the lake and whenever illegal hunters were caught, they escape the scene before the police arrived. Talking to APP anglers at the Rawal lake complained that the department confiscates and burns their angling material though they want to pay fee. They said that the ticket office of department was at a long distance and it was difficult to go there,especially on working days.They demanded that a ticket booth should be set up at the site of fishing or the Fisheries department staff should be given tickets,which they should issue to the anglers on the spot. They said that angling was a legal activity and burning of angling stuff would discourage the anglers,which would also affect the income of the department.—APP