Out of the target of distributing 50 thousand white ducklings to farmers and animal rearers living around Lake Rudrasagar in Tripura’s Sipahijala district, Biplab Deb government has already distributed over 10 thousand ducklings in past 18 months, an official told The Indian Express.
The ambitious project announced by CM Deb in November last year, found traction among rural people until ducklings started dying out prematurely. The Department of Animal Rearing and Development (ARDD) later found that beneficiaries skipped the prescribed diet for these hybrid birds and rather fed them with indigenous bird feed.
A senior official of the CM’s office today informed that while 10,340 ducks had been distributed to farmers around Lake Rudrasagar, 2,019 more would be distributed by tomorrow. Nearly 350 ducks, which were previously distributed are already laying eggs.
Speaking at an event on traditional boat race conducted at the lake on Sunday, Deb said his government is working to make sure Neermahal (water palace) situated in the middle of Lake Rudrasagar can exploit potential for Rs. 100 crore economy.
“Slowly Tripura is standing on its own feet. I want to take tourism to the international level to bring revenue,” CM said. He added that the state government has put out a tender for building a 3-star hotel in Neermahal.
Popularly known as Tripura’s ‘Lake Palace’, Neermahal was commissioned by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in 1930. The King commissioned the British Martin and Burn Company to build a summer resort for him which took nine years to be built. Located at Melaghar in Sepahijala district, 53 km from the state capital, this magnificent palace at the heart of Lake Rudrasagar has been a tourist favourite for decades.
After assuming power, the BJP-IPFT government planned to turn Neermahal into a modern tourist destination, with hi-speed internet, modern cuisine, round-the-year boat facility and above all, water to row the boats on.
The first batch of ducks was distributed in March this year. The birds are of two breeds – Khaki Campbell and white ducks and are brought from Bangalore. The project also claims these hybrid varieties of birds would lay more eggs and provide additional income for the rearers.