Govt gears up for ambitious Rs 500-crore project
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma is expected to formally launch the much anticipated Meghalaya Aquaculture Mission on March 5.
The Chief Minister who is in charge of the Fisheries department would be launching the mission at a function at Polo Ground to be attended by hundreds of fish farmers from the seven districts of the State.
“We have fixed this date to launch this ambitious programme of the Government after the final draft of the mission was prepared,” official sources said on Sunday.
When asked about the reason for the delay in launching the programme, which was earlier scheduled at the beginning of the year, the sources said that the delay was because they had to make necessary corrections in the final draft.
“We are pretty happy with the way the final draft of the Aquaculture Mission has shaped up,” the official added.
The State Government has sanctioned a total amount of Rs 500 crore for a period of five years from 2012-2017 for this purpose, the sources said, while adding that funds for this scheme might be enhanced depending on how it is being implemented.
It may be mentioned the State Government is intending to cover a total water area of 10,000 hectares, averaging around 20,000 fish ponds every year.
“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,” the official said, even as he clarified that the size of the pond might be bigger than 0.1 hectare depending on the availability of land.
The official further informed that the area expansion scheme envisages a back-ended subsidy component of 60 per cent and a loan component of 40 per cent.