Govt to set up watersheds to boost pisciculture
The State Fisheries department has taken up comprehensive development schemes to enhance fishery infrastructure in the state. To strengthen coperative fish farming the schemes will engage unemployed rural youth which will thereby uplift the rural economy.
The department has chalked out a detailed plan to make West Bengal self sufficient in fish production and also to increase export. The government had adopted a method called, People Participatory Programme (PPP) for the sustainable development of fisheries. The purpose of PPP is to develop an operational method to increase participation of local fishermen in fish production, storage and distribution. It also aims to assist the local fishermen to organise self-help groups and co-operatives which will increase their income. They will be given access to the existing fishing ponds and fishery infrastructure. In another major initiative the state government is setting up watersheds in the drought prone areas of various districts to boost up pisciculture and cultivation. In the drought prone areas of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore and other districts, a considerable amount of rain water is wasted. If the rain water is harnessed by small dams, it can be used for pisciculture, cultivation and domestic used during the lean season.
Moreover, water stored in check dams also helps in reaching the ground water through bottom percolation in the subsurface. Watershed development thus plays an important role in uplifting the rural economy, increasing fish production, agricultural production, afforestation, water, soil and land management in the drought prone areas.
A watershed is defined as the land that contributes water to a given site. It is a line that connects all the highest points in the area. A watershed provides a natural environmental unit for planning a developmental initiative.
The watershed mapping in the districts of Purulia and Bankura has been taken up to delineate watershed boundaries and to suggest the suitable sites for check dams for water harvesting. A digital map of water bodies was already created by the Fisheries department. The GIS based map of water bodies will help in managing e-governance in the fishery sector. Web based availability of GIS maps will improve decision making process in a decentralised set up thereby creating a scenario of efficient management. Currently, the state has to import fishes from other states.