The fisheries department will help setting up small fishery units in dobhas (small farm ponds) that were dug up in lakhs across the state during the summer season, following acute water crisis.
Officials said that the exercise for developing these has already begun and, currently, the target is over 1.2 lakh dobhas. “As of now, the seeding process has been completed in around 33,000 dobhas across the state. The work is going on fast and the number would increase further,” said Director (Fisheries), Rajeev Kumar.
These would be in addition of over 16,000 government ponds for fisheries and over 1.16 lakh private ponds that exist around the state, officials said.
“We wanted that the beneficiaries of dobhas could do well by augmenting their income by using these water bodies for rearing fishes. However, with the dobhas dug up and good rain filling them up, it is the beneficiaries, who want it all the more,” said Kumar.
He added that the department was only helping them understand the basics of the process. “We are only organising training programmes at Block level to the beneficiaries. The seeding and any related expenditure is being handled by the beneficiaries themselves,” said the officer.
More than 5,000 volunteers, called ‘matsya mitras’ in the rural areas have been deployed to help the beneficiaries start the process and also educate them on how and where to sell the fish.
As of now, the list of dobhas, where the applicants have applied for development of fisheries, is around 1.2 lakh. The total number of dobhas is in excess of 2.5 lakhs. The overall target for the year is around 5 lakh dobhas, the work on which will resume after the monsoon season is over. The target is cover to all the 1.2 lakh dobhas by the end of this month, said officials.
Earlier, the state government had launched programmes in mission mode to dig up dobhas on farm lands across the state to meet with the water crisis arising out of lack of rain for the past two years and excessive heat. The monsoon season this year has been satisfactory so far. The dobhas had also earned infamy to some extent with children getting drowned in the same.