Opening floodgates of Sundilla Barrage for fish bounty

Scores of people help themselves to an unexpected catch as thousands of fishes flow down on to the spillway as officials lift the gates of Sundilla Barrage to discharge water on account of the recent heavy rains

By   |  Published: 25th Aug 2020  12:03 amUpdated: 24th Aug 2020  10:12 pm

Peddapalli: A picture, they say, speaks a thousand words. In the case of the scene witnessed at Parvathi (Sundilla) Barrage last weekend, the picture accompanying this report not only reveals the glee on the faces of scores of people helping themselves to free fish but also the massive success of the free fishlings distribution programme of the State government.

The barrage, part of the mega Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), instantly turned from a tourism place into a hot spot for easy catch of fish that literally rained down on them after the barrage gates were lifted to discharge water on account of the recent heavy rains. Videos and pictures of fish in their thousands bobbing on the water surface in front of the spillway went viral in no time, and had people from neighbouring areas rushing in with gunny bags to take home the unexpected but welcome catch.

With authorities lifting the floodgates at Sripada Yellampalli Reservoir following copious inflows, the flood waters reached Parvathi Barrage downstream of Yellampalli project. Project officials lifted the barrage gates to let out excess water and closed it a couple of days ago, but by then, thousands of fish had been washed down the spillway.

The fish stock was the result of the State government’s scheme extending support to the fishermen community, releasing fishlings into reservoirs, tanks and other water bodies across the State. When the Yellampalli reservoir gates were lifted, thousands of fishes also flowed across to Parvathi Barrage, and subsequently down the spillway when the gates were lifted at Sundilla. After the gates were closed, thousands of fishes were trapped in the shallow pools of water in front of the spillway, District Fisheries Officer A Mallesham told Telangana Today.

The fishermen community, who enjoy all rights over fish in the reservoirs, could do nothing but remain silent spectators as people rushed to grab the fish.

Of the 1.53 crore fishlings target for this year, officials had released 11.40 lakh fish seed in Yellampalli, 12.26 lakh in Sundilla and 8 lakh in Annaram barrages. Presently, fish seed distribution was stopped due to the recent rains. In the last rainy season, 1.46 crore fish seed were dropped in different water bodies.

Besides the fish from the reservoir, fish grown in tanks, ponds and other water bodies nearby also got into the reservoir in the flood waters, the official said.

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