Residents of Avaniapuram staged a protest near Ayyayanthan Reservoir on Saturday to demand action against influential people who continued to fish in the reservoir/kanmai despite the expiry of the lease period.
Local residents, mostly farmers, said appropriate measures should be taken by authorities to protect the reservoir. People said they depended on agriculture and the reservoir was an important source.
A resident, S. Sivanandi, said that some influential people had obtained a fishing lease for a fixed period. Following a series of disputes in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, they were allowed to continue until November last year.
But, despite the expiry of the said lease period, they continued to carry out the fishing activities in the reservoir. They let the water stored in the reservoir flow out so that they can fish. They also indulge in polluting the body of water, locals complained.
Such fishing lease permits should not be granted by the authority when people depend on water for agriculture, said another resident, G. Magesh. He said influential people do not allow water to be stored in the tank to its full capacity.
It was because it would be easier for them to fish. Residents said they had approached the authorities in this regard. But, no action has been taken in this regard, they said. Therefore, they decided to organize a demonstration demanding action, they said.