Cyclone Yaas: Fisheries sector one of worst-hit in East Midnapore, incur losses in excess of Rs 1000 crore

Cyclone Yaas: Fisheries sector one of worst-hit in East Midnapore, incur losses in excess of Rs 1000 crore

Biswabrata Goswami

MIDNAPORE, 27 MAY: Cyclone Yaas, the second powerful storm to hit India in just a matter of a week, wreaked havoc in the coastal blocks of East Midnapore leaving behind a trail of damaged fisheries, fishing harbor and fishing bheries along with damages of residential homes and saline water ingress into the farmlands.

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In a preliminary estimate prepared by the administration, the severe cyclonic storm has caused a loss in excess of Rs 1000 crore related with the fisheries only in the district.

“These are all preliminary assessments. Cyclone Yaas has caused huge damage, not just to the fisheries, but also to residential properties, village roads and highways, banks and embankments of many rivers besides extended damage to the sea embankment, state government assets, and agricultural and horticulture crops. It will take some more time to arrive at the exact losses caused by a cyclone of this magnitude,” said a senior administrative official.

In Nandigram block, flanked on two sides by the Hooghly and Haldi, thousands of fisheries were submerged. The convergence of floodwater from the two rivers inundated parts of Nandigram.

“Amphan had felled trees, electric poles and homes, but this time flooding ruined our fishing industry,” said panchayat samity deputy chief Abu Taher. Sheikh Khashed, 53, from Nandigram, who owns and operates many fishing bheris, agreed. “My losses are in crores,” he said.

Alike Nandigram, thousands of fishing bheries of Deshapran, Ramnagar-I and II, Khejuri-I and II and Contai-I, Haldia and Mahisadal have been submerged either by the sea water or by the river water.

This apart, Sankarpur and Junput fishing harbours and fishing market in Digha Mohona have also been damaged due to the sea water ingress into these areas. Water levels at these fishing bheries and harbours have not receded yet as the sea water is still swelling due to the impact of the deep depression today.

Sheikh Sahir Hossain of Soula said, “I have 11 bheries, but all were submerged. My losses are about 2 crores.”

Similarly fishing bheries in Mandarmoni, Mayachar and Nayachar have also been submerged.

Sheikh Mahmud Hossain, one of the administrators of Contai municipality said, “Around 10 lakhs people are directly or indirectly involved in the fisheries in the district. The cyclone has played havoc in the fisheries only. The total loss in the fisheries will incur about several thousands of crores. We have submitted a memorandum to the state fisheries minister Akhil Giri urging him to compensate the fishing community for surviving.”

Parimal Jana of Mandarmoni said thousands of people have caught the fishes soon after the bheries were inundated by the sea water and sold them in the market at very low prices.

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