According to the latest government guidelines, no person shall carry on freshwater aquaculture without registration, reports NewIndianExpress.
If farmers fail to register, the government will impose a fine and invoke the Revenue Recovery Act to collect the penalties.
The District Level Committee (DLC) will be the competent authority to permit fresh water aquaculture by registration. District collectors will be the chairpersons of the respective district committees and officers from irrigation, environment, ground water, agriculture, fisheries and other related departments will be the members of the district committee to monitor aquaculture ponds.
To start freshwater aquaculture, a farmer should have a clear title of land or clear lease-holding certificate. Fertile agricultural lands will not be allowed to be converted into freshwater aquaculture ponds except in cases where agricultural lands are less productive, fallow, low-lying or prone to water-logging.
Salt pan lands, mangroves, wet lands, forest lands, casuarina plantations, cattle grazing grounds, lands meant for village common purposes, lands meant for public purposes, ecologically sensitive areas like national parks, sanctuaries, marine parks and others shall not be used for freshwater aquaculture.
Freshwater aquaculture is permissible by using water from irrigation canals, drainage channels (notified or non-notified), field channels, etc. which are not in the prohibited list of the irrigation department.
Freshwater aquaculture farms should not obstruct natural drainage canals/ flood drains and cause flooding of low-lying areas and villages.
While using common property resources like creeks and canals, the traditional rights of the local communities should not be adversely affected. Dykes or dams should not be constructed over common property resources like creeks and canals to the detriment of the interests of local communities or farmers.
Freshwater aquaculture farms should be located at least 10 metres from the nearest village or hamlet, from the nearest drinking water source and from burial grounds and places of worship, and at a distance of 3 metres from road margins and neighbouring agricultural lands.
Salination of lands and drinking water table, etc. should be avoided by providing suitable buffer zones between agricultural lands, villages and aquaculture farms. To prevent the aquaculture farm from causing seepage problems in neighbouring agricultural lands, the owner or lessee of the aquaculture farm should construct and maintain a seepage channel between his aquaculture farm and the neighbouring agricultural lands. Such a channel can be created in the prescribed 3-metre gap between the farm and the neighbouring agricultural lands.
To prevent ground water depletion, no freshwater aquaculture farm will be permitted to use water drawn from bore wells except for supplementing the losses from evaporation, seepage, etc. Direct pumping of water from canals, rivers and reservoirs is not allowed. Indirect and harmless methods may be used.
The farm shall ensure that the effluent quality at discharge point conforms to the specific standards prescribed by the State Pol.