For increasing the production of fish in Chalan Beel region, four sanctuaries were dug at a cost of Tk 2,000,000 (two million) several years ago but due to lack of care of protecting those and indiscriminate catching of fishes from there, those sanctuaries are failing in fulfilling their purposes.
Singra Upazila Fisheries Office sources said, for increasing the production of fish in the dry season, Director of Rajshahi Divisional Fisheries office took the initiative to excavate the beel at Satpukhuria, Solakura, Solagari and Dahiar beel in 2009-‘10 at a cost of Tk two million.
Local people of the adjacent villages informed, influential villagers, specially, local political leaders and musclemen regularly catch fish from the sanctuaries and due to non-repairing of the banks of the sanctuaries for a long time, those turned flat during the monsoon rain and the aim of making the sanctuaries is not being fulfilled. Local Fisheries officials are also learnt to remain reluctant to protect the sanctuaries from illegal fish catchers.
Upazila Fisheries Officer of Singra informed, the sanctuaries were dug so that the fishes take shelter in these protected areas during the dry season and those release eggs and fish fries are hatched and bred during the monsoon so that the overall availability of fish increases day by bay in the Chalanbeel. But the purpose is not served because of some influential, dishonest villagers. By defying the ban of catching fish from these sanctuaries, these influential quarters dried up by irrigating and releasing water from those sanctuaries and catch all fishes including the mother-fishes from there.
Ibrahim Hossain, a fisherman of Dahia village at Singra upazila said, though these pockets in the Chalanbeel are sanctuaries, many corrupt officers of the fisheries office and some influential men at villages catch fish from those sanctuaries indiscriminately.
Ibrahim Hossain also said, for these reasons many kinds of big and small species of fishes including the ‘mother fishes’ are being extinct from this beel. As a result Chalan Beel will face an extreme scarcity of fish very soon.
A responsible official of Fisheries department at Singra informed, those sanctuaries were dug long ago and those cannot be termed as sanctuaries at all. He further mentioned, Abu Bakkar Siddique, former Project Director of Divisional Fisheries Office had dug those spots inside the Chalabeel as sanctuaries of fish but later on no step was taken to protect those sanactuaries from the illegal fish hunters.