Fish­eries Deptt takes stern ac­tion against il­le­gal fish­ing in Rawal Lake

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE - 05:50 01:30 04:00 07:15

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

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