The Fisheries Societies Association, Pong Dam reservoir, in a meeting held recently at Jawali has expressed resentment over non-payment of two months’ off-season allowance-cum-financial relief to fishermen engaged in fishing in the reservoir in lower Kangra hills.
As many as 2,500 fishermen registered with 15 fishermen cooperative societies are earning their livelihood by catching fish in the reservoir. During the two-month fish breeding season (June 15 to August 15) each fisherman is paid Rs 4,500 as financial relief in which the beneficiary has to contribute Rs 1,500. The association has appealed to the state Fisheries Department to release off-season relief which is due since August 15.
The association also discussed various problems being faced by fishermen. According to Kuldeep Singh, general secretary of the fishermen association, they have expressed resentment over stopping of the Neel Kranti Awas Yojana in the state, depriving hundreds of fishermen’s families of financial assistance for house construction.
“Under this ambitious scheme, the state government was to identify beneficiaries and preference was to be given to fishermen below poverty line. Fishermen owning land and kutcha houses were also eligible,” he said.