In a unique initiative, the state fisheries department on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Coal India Limited (CIL) for undertaking community development through fish farming and allied activities in the abandoned open cast coal pit (OCP) of the Eastern Coal Fields Ltd (ECL) funded by the CIL.
The state fisheries directorate will execute the project. The main purpose of the new project is to utilise the abandoned coal pits for the integrated development of pisciculture and allied activities.
The move will immensely benefit the community by creating employment opportunities and will also contribute to the fish production in the state. The family members of those involved in various works in the coal pits can avail opportunities of fish farming as an alternative source of income.
A total of around 9 OCPs will be developed spreading over 43.56 hectare for this project. The project will be carried out in various phases over a period of three years. According to a hand out released by the Information and Cultural Affairs department of the state government, four OCPs will be covered in the first phase while five more OCPs will be brought under the project in phase II.
The total cost of the entire project will be around Rs 6,62,27,175. According to the press note, in the first phase in the first year the estimated cost of the project is around Rs 97,75,702, while in the second year of the phase I the estimated cost is Rs 1,55,54,676. In the third year in the phase II the cost for the project has been estimated at Rs 4,08,96,797. The CIL has sanctioned the funds for Phase I.
There will a total of around 8 fish production groups involving the local people. It is expected that total fish production at the end of third year will be around 2,56,132.8 kg/year. For this project two technical persons and one lab-cum-computer operator will be employed.
It may be mentioned that the state fisheries department has taken a host of new projects to augment the production of fishes by forming community based pisciculture. Various projects have already started even in the dry areas of Purulia and Bankura.