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Madhya Pradesh: Sarovar dam-hit fishermen grapple with altering breeding patterns by Sidharth Yadav November 19,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

Hundreds of farmers, potters and fishermen from 178 villages that were submerged by the backwaters of the Narmada, marched to the office of the Narmada Valley Development Authority in Bhopal demanding rehabilitation and alternative employment on Saturday. Ever since the Sardar Sarovar dam downstream was filled to the brim, the Narmada has developed an erratic current and an unstable course, posing a challenge to fishermen in Madhya Pradesh. “When the backwaters swelled, the catch dwindled dramatically. And now, several species have become extinct in the river,” says Mansarovar Verma, 53, a fisherman of Chikhalda village in Barwani district. “We don’t want contractors from outside to take over water bodies. Local fishermen have a traditional right to them,” said Medha Patkar, of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, who led the rally and then staged a dharna with the protesters.

Fall in catch

“Water has entered forests, and dead leaves are detrimental to fish. Furthermore, garbage from submerged villages has caused a large-scale pollution of the river,” said Mr. Verma. He now catches 2-4 kg of fish a day, earning only up to ?400 a day. Three months ago, he netted 8-10 kg, bringing home ?1,000 a day. “We want compensation or land for the loss incurred. We don’t want

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)