By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Despite claims by the State Government that it has increased the fund allocation for the Fisheries department in the current fiscal year, the ground reality tells otherwise.
A visit to the fishing ponds located close to the Fisheries office in Cleve Colony in the city speaks volume of the sorry state of affairs in the department.
The fishing ponds, which are normally expected to be teeming with fishes, are totally dry.
When contacted, a senior government official admitted that the fishing ponds were totally dry.
“We are supposed to raise fishing seeds in these fishing ponds. But due to fund shortage we have been forced to abandon these ponds,” he said, while adding that the department has been distributing these fishing seeds to fish farmers mainly in East Khasi Hills.
He further added that at the moment, the department was raising fishing seeds only on few fishing ponds located on the lower side of the area.
“We need to understand that all these years the Fisheries department has been a minor department. Therefore, the fund allocation to the department is very limited,” he said while adding that with limited funds in hand, the department did not have the means to take up any major initiative to encourage the farmers to take up rearing of fishes as their means of livelihood.
The official, however, pointed out that under the present Government some positive development has been taking shape.
“The State Government is intending to transform the Fisheries into a major department by increasing the fund allocation,” he said.
With the Aquaculture Mission scheduled to be launched in December, the official was hopeful of a major transformation within the department.
“If we receive the necessary funds, the department would improve the fishing ponds. After this renovation, we would be able to start raising fishing seeds again,” he asserted.