NAGAON: Nagaon fishery department has taken up 22 major fishery schemes in different parts of the district to increase the region's fish production. A high-level fishery department source said that the proposed schemes include construction of huge fisheries, upgradation of existing low-lying areas and installation of fish feed mills. "Till now works of 12 of the proposed 22 major schemes have already been started. We hope all these works will be completed within the next couple of years," the source said.
According to the source, the proposed schemes would cost nearly Rs 10 crore and nearly half of the cost would be sanctioned as financial assistance to the beneficiaries. With more than 35,000 MT production per year, Nagaon is at the top of the list of fish producing districts in the State. The district's annual fish requirement is nearly 22000 mt. Nagaon has nearly 6,000 hectare artificial ponds and 8,000 hectare low-lying natural fish areas. According to official record, a natural water body produces 350 kg per hectare area. It is almost 850 kg in case of an artificially erected pond.
Nagaon district fishery officer R Barman said that proposed major schemes have been taken up under the Prime Minister's Matshya Sampad Yojana and implementation of the schemes might do a lot in making the district independent in fish production.
However, alleged large-scale corruption, coupled with unholy nexus between politicians, middlemen and bureaucrats, stand in the way of proper implementation of government sponsored schemes in the field.
"Many times it is seen that fish farmers actually working in the rural belts are kept far away from these schemes. Works shown are done only in office files," said Manjit Hazarika, a Deudhar farmer. Hazarika's Deudhar, 7 KM from Nagaon district headquarter, is known for Sapekhati beel where Rs 2.25 crore had been spent under several fishery department schemes and NREGA. "Our Sapekhati beel is still a hyacinth-filled pond of dirty stagnant water without any sign of these implemented schemes," he alleged.
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