Nurpur, December 2
As many as 2,500 fishermen, who used to earn livelihood by catching fish in the Pong lake, are up in arms against the state government for its failure to pass on the benefits of Centre-sponsored welfare schemes meant for them.
A meeting of the Pong Dam Fisheries Association presided over by president Jaswant Singh at Jawali on Tuesday discussed various problems faced by them.
According to Jaswant, the fishermen expressed resentment against the stopping of the Neel Kranti Awas Yojana in the state, depriving hundreds of fishermen the benefit of financial assistance for the construction of houses.
“Under the scheme, the beneficiaries were to be identified by the state government and preference was to be given to the fishermen below poverty line. Fishermen owning land and kutcha houses were also considered eligible,” he said.
He said that the fishermen, who were also paying royalty to the government, had suffered financial losses due to the bird flu epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic for two years due to a ban on fishing.
“The government has given no relief to them. It did not disburse annual cash relief to them from June 15 to August 15. Besides, the Fisheries Department has not distributed life jackets to them,” he said. He urged the Chief Minister to frame a policy for their welfare so that they could continue to earn their livelihood.
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