| One of the waterbodies at the Gobra burial grounds that the civic body will let anglers use to pursue their hobby. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
Waterbodies in civic parks and burial grounds are likely to be thrown open to anglers during weekends and holidays. And the proceeds from ticket sales will be used for upkeep of the premises, which will include hiring private security agencies.
According to an estimate of the parks and gardens wing of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), which has floated the proposal, the move will fetch at least Rs 50 lakh a year.
The ticket price has not been decided, but sources said it would not be less than Rs 50.
'There are over 12 tanks, measuring more than 100 bighas, in burial grounds and parks. Anglers will be most delighted if they are allowed access to them,' mayoral council member (parks and gardens) Faiyaz Ahmed Khan said on Monday.
Angling will be allowed on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays. The north Calcutta rendezvous will include the waterbody in Tallah Park and one in Cossipore, popularly known as Raghu Dakat's pond.
The mode of use ' whether the civic body will issue entry passes to anglers against payment or will assign private agencies for the job through an auction ' will be decided by the mayor, Khan added.
The parks and gardens department has also taken up a plan to release fish seedlings in the ponds during monsoon and will seek help from the state fisheries department, Khan told Metro.
For some time, a section of anglers and NGOs have been prodding the civic body to allow angling in its ponds. The anglers have complained that they are forced to visit the districts to pursue their hobby as ponds are fast vanishing in Calcutta and its surrounding areas. Till recently, Rajarhat and Lake Town were their favourite haunts. But the realty boom has eaten up most of the waterbodies there.
The Muslim burial board has welcomed the civic body's move. Angling will save the pond on the premises from 'illegal pisciulture' by local toughs, the board said. Unauthorised angling has been plaguing the civic waterbodies, too.