In a meeting held recently in Jawali, the Fisheries Societies Association, Pong Dam reservoir, expressed displeasure over the non-payment of two months’ worth of off-season allowances, as well as financial assistance, to fishermen involved in fishing in the reservoir in the lower Kangra hills.
Up to 2,500 fishermen who are members of 15 cooperative societies for fishermen rely on fishing in the reservoir for their livelihood. Each fisherman receives Rs 4,500 in cash assistance during the two-month fish breeding season (June 15 to August 15), with the recipient contributing Rs 1,500. The association has urged the state Fisheries Department to grant off-season respite that has been overdue since August 15.
The association also talked about numerous issues that affect fishermen. The Neel Kranti Awas Yojana was stopped in the state, depriving hundreds of fishermen’s families of financial support for the construction of homes, according to Kuldeep Singh, general secretary of the fishermen association. This has angered the fishermen association.
“Under this ambitious plan, the state government was responsible for selecting the recipients, with preference given to fishermen who fell below the poverty threshold. He added that fishermen who owned land and kutcha homes were also eligible.