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18 Dec 2017

Plan to revive waterbodies

Rajbari Dighi, a pond developed by the Baikunthapur royals, in Jalpaiguri
TT, Jalpaiguri: The state fisheries department has decided to clean and restore over 500 waterbodies across north Bengal to encourage pisciculture.

Senior officials of the department said they would indulge self-help groups, people from different Scheduled Tribes and others to start fish farming in the ponds, swamps and rivulets.

"Our department has taken up a plan to increase fish production in the state as per instructions from the chief minister. We want the amount of fish imported from other states to be reduced. That is why it has been decided that we will reclaim over 500 waterbodies in north Bengal, which are in bad shape, for fish rearing," said R.F. Lepcha, the additional director of fisheries (north Bengal).

"As a part of the plan, the department has recently created the additional director's post for the region and posted me," Lepcha said.

He would be posted in Siliguri and will monitor all eight districts of north Bengal.

Earlier, a deputy director was in charge of the region.

The department, he said, has already prepared a list of the waterbodies to be revived. "We will start the task of cleaning the waterbodies from this month. Initially, around 15 such waterbodies would be reclaimed," the official added.

Among the waterbodies are the ones built by the royals of Cooch Behar in different parts of the district.

The species which would be reared include "pabda" (Indian catfish), "rui" (rohu), "katla" (Indian carp), "telapia" (Indian Tilapia) and "chital" (Clown Knifefish).

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