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Aqua mission to be launched in January

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The State Government is contemplating to launch the much-anticipated Meghalaya Aquaculture Mission at the beginning of next year.

“We have planned to launch this mission on January 1, 2012. But since it’s a holiday we are contemplating to launch it either before or after January 1,” Commissioner and Secretary, Fisheries department, KN Kumar, told The Shillong Times on Sunday.

Kumar informed that a total amount of Rs 500 crore has been initially estimated for the period of five years from 2012-2017 for this purpose.

Kumar however maintained that the funds requirement for this scheme might be enhanced depending on how this Mission is being implemented.

Kumar said that the Government is intending to cover a total water area of 10,000 hectares within a period of five years averaging 20,000 fish ponds per year.

“Taking this into account, the Mission envisages the creation of one lakh fish ponds approximately of an average size of 0.1 hectare as minimum unit area during this five-year period,” Kumar said while also clarifying that the size of the pond might be bigger than 0.1 hectare depending on the availability of land for creation of the fish ponds.

He further informed that the area expansion scheme envisages a back-ended subsidy component of 60 per cent subsidy and a loan component of 40 per cent at the rate of Rs 5 lakh per hectare.

Kumar also said that the Government had held a pre-launch mass awareness campaign in Garo Hills recently.

“We had also conducted an enrollment drive of the beneficiaries for this Mission in five blocks of Garo Hills where the awareness programme was held,” he said, while adding that the five blocks were Selsella, Tikrikilla, Ampati, Betasing, Zigzag and Dadengri

He also informed that they would be holding a similar programme at Umsning on November 17 where they would carry out enrollment drives for Umsning, Patharkhmah and Umling Blocks.

“We would cover all the 39 blocks of the State in the coming months,” Kumar said.

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