Fish-o-phile Bengalis cannot think of their meal without diving into a fish delicacy with gusto. Be it a fried rohu fish or tangra macher jhol
(curry) or chital macher muithya
, you name it and any fish-lover will start drooling. Now, for all the fish lovers of Rajarhat a good news awaits: the state government is planning to bring back local varieties to your plate.
The government is all set to breed local species of fish to minimise the import from other states.
Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) has drawn up a plan which incorporates several varieties of fishes - with special emphasis on chitol and bekti - across several waterbodies in Rajarhat New Town, covering an area of more than 200 hectares. It has been estimated that if properly utilised for pisciculture, the fish
production would be able to cater to about 87% of Rajarhat New Town's demand within three years, and the invested capital could be recovered
even earlier, said a source.
"We will work on the plan and have engaged fisheries expert TK Giri to take the project forward," said HIDCO chairman-cum-managing director Debashis Sen. Giri, a former official of the fisheries department, has prepared a detailed project report, based on studies and scientific analyses of Rajarhat's waterbodies that was carried on for a month, and submitted it to HIDCO. The scheme to develop pisciculture was approved during HIDCO's last board meeting.
The report raises some important points and makes recommendations accordingly. According to it, waterbodies cover 70 hectares in Action Area I, 88 hectares in Action Area II and 48 hectares in Action Area III. The report points out that some of these waterbodies need to be developed and cleaned to make them fit for pisciculture. It recommends starting fish cultivation activities in 11 such waterbodies, on about 100 hectares, in all three Action Areas.
"The chief minister wants all waterbodies to be preserved and utilised. There are a number of waterbodies in Rajarhat, where pisciculture could be effectively developed. In this way, fish production will increase and we'd also be able to generate revenue," said a HIDCO official.
The revenue that will be earned will also meet the maintenance cost of Eco Park and other greeneries in the township.
Officials said that if properly planned, incorporating all waterbodies of Rajarhat and adjacent areas within the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, the city and its surroundings would no longer have to depend on other states for fish.