FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Agartala, March 20: The row over use of formalin to keep fishes fresh has took a new turn with the fish sellers denied of using any such chemical harmful for human health and demanded test of fish samples in well equipped laboratories outside the State.
Manindra Das, secretary of the Tripura Fish Sellers Association, in a press conference expressed doubt over the laboratory of the Health department where the fish samples, collected by Agartala Municipal Corporation were tested. “This laboratory is not equipped for such test,” he said.
State Health minister Badal Choudhury told the state assembly last week that presence of formalin was found in 11 of the 40 fish samples collected from different markets of Agartala and the outskirts.
He further informed the house that use of such chemicals harmful for human health will not be allowed and the offenders will be punished and assured that the collection of sample and testing will continue on a regular basis.
The statement evoked a serious repercussion in the market as the demand of fish specially coming from Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh virtually comes down to nil immediately. Consumption of other fishes barring locally available small fishes also dropped considerably.
Though the people of Tripura are very much fish loving most of them overnight turned vegetarian and most of the fish markets in the state wore a deserted look.
Das said it hit the economy of the seven to eight lakh fisherman and fish sellers very badly as they depends solely on selling of fish. The minister’s statement spread a fear psychosis among the consumers.
He said the Adhra Pradesh government has already written a letter confirming that no formalin is used for preservation of fish that is coming from that State.