Chennai: The Andhra government recently earmarked Rs 48 crores for the opening of the sea mouths at the Pulicat Lake to ease the flow of water into the lake. But the fishermen in Tamil Nadu are disappointed that the State government has not taken any action towards desilting the lake, due to which the fish catch has reduced marginally this year.
The Pulicat lagoon that spreads across nearly 20,000 hectares has shrunk by nearly 25 per cent due to ill maintenance, said fishermen, adding that nearly 20,000 families are dependent on the lake for their livelihood.
“Only once, the TN government had sought about Rs 18 lakh for the renovation of sea mouth and thereafter nobody visited the place. As the north-bound wind blows, the sea mouths close due to sand bar formation affecting shrimp and fish catch. Repeated appeals to the officials have borne no fruit” said Durai Mahendran, general secretary, Thiruvallur district traditional united fishermen association.
A fisherman at Pazhaverkadu (Pulicat) said the catch came down by almost 40 per cent compared to the previous decade due to lack of desilting. It was a mere 1,800 tonnes this year as against nearly 3,000 tonnes they caught in 2005. In total, there are three sea mouths on Pulicat lake - at Tupilipalem, Pudirayadoruvu in Vakadu mandal (Nellore) and one at Pulicat village in the State. Reportedly, the topic of desilting the lake is spoken about during the flamingo festival every year, only to be forgotten later.