Fish farmers seek early release of pending subsidy


PASIGHAT, 10 May: About 60 fish farmers of East Siang district who have developed/constructed new fish ponds during 2019-20 are yet to receive subsidy from the fishery department.

They recently submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, pleading with him to release the pending fund to the district’s fishery department, so that payment of subsidy can be made to the fish farmers.

The fish farmers said that, following the state government’s assurance to sanction funds for development of new fish ponds under the Mukhya Mantri Neel Kranti Abhiyan for 2019-20, the district fishery development officer (DFDO) invited beneficiaries under the scheme and directed them to construct fish ponds in different villages in Pasighat, Mebo and Ruskin blocks.

The farmers, however, claimed that, despite the passage of one year, the department has yet to pay their pending bills (subsidy).

“I have developed four new fish ponds, covering an area of one hectare. It cost me around Rs 10 lakhs, which includes mechanical/labour cost and rearing of a variety of fishes. However, I did not receive any subsidy as the department is yet to receive funds worth Rs 5 lakhs,” lamented Jiten (Yiijur) Tayeng, a progressive fish farmer from Ngorlung village in Ruskin block.

When asked, officials of the district fishery office in Pasighat informed that the office has not received any fund for the last two years after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are providing necessary technical guidance to the fish farmers. However, all activities, such as supply of fish seeds and maintenance of fish ponds, have ceased due to shortage of funds,” the officials stated.