Hundreds of villagers surrounding the Kabini Dam are making a beeline to the Dam site not to witness the scenery but to catch fish. The dipping water level in the Dam is drawing people from Beechanahalli, H.D. Kote, in hordes with fishing nets, buckets and steel containers to collect fish at the crest gates.
Villagers started flowing into the Dam premises since Sunday and initially they caught fish as a protest against the Fisheries Department authorities. They were disappointed over the officials posted to supervise renovation and repair works at the Dam taking to hunting fish and selling them in fish markets to make a quick buck.
What began as a small protest with a handful of villagers catching fish on Sunday became a “mass fishing movement” by Tuesday with hundreds of villagers crowding the silting area of the Dam to get hold of their catch. They sold the fish to the Fisheries Development Corporation outlets and the open market. Some enterprising villagers were even seen transporting the freshly-caught fish in their jeeps to sell it in Mysuru and Kodagu.
The silting basin in front of crest gate has been under repairs costing Rs. 10 crore. As the water was sucked out, water levels fell sharply, exposing fish at the bottom. Police as well as the dam engineers had no option but to remain mute spectators to the incident.