GUWAHATI, July 12: At a time when Dispur has banned import of chalani fish from outside, local fish farmers in the State are struggling to augment their production due to lack of support from the government.
Even though the Fishery department had chalked out an ambitious scheme “Ghore Ghore Pukhuri Ghore Ghore Maach” during the last fiscal to provide monetary support to local fish farmers, the Finance department eventually rejected the scheme due to lack of its viability. The fishery department even prepared a list of beneficiaries numbering 1718 fish farmers from 126 legislative assembly constituencies. Assam imports 2530 metric tons of chalani fish from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal every month. But despite such huge import of chalani fish the present regime at Dispur, including Fishery minister Parimal Suklabaidya, has not done anything substantial to promote local fish farmers.
The ban on import and sale of chalani fish was imposed on Tuesday after the State Public Health Laboratory, Assam confirmed use of formalin in some samples of such fish collected by officials of the commissionerate of food safety from Pamohi wholesale market in the city on June 29.
A solution of 35 to 40 per cent of water in formaldehyde or methanal is called formalin. Formalin is a strong disinfectant and tissue hardener and it is used for preserving biological and anatomical specimens. It is also used as an antiseptic in sterilising surgical instruments. Use of such chemicals to keep fish fresh for longer period is a serious health hazard for fish eating population.