The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 15 , 2014
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Hook a moving cottage for a fishy catch

- State to launch mobile marts in Ranchi after polls, gets hungry carp for weed control

Call it fish on wheels.

The state fisheries department will launch five mobile cottage-shaped fish marts in Ranchi soon after the Lok Sabha elections on a pilot basis.

The shops — each of which will cost between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 — will be a one-stop solution for all customers.

Each will have refrigerators, fish feed, raw and processed fish items such as fillets and so on.

But, the most important aspect of the shop would be mobility. Wheels will enable the fish seller to cart his shop anywhere within a specific area.

Plan ready, the department is at present looking for suitable neighbourhoods.

“Doranda, Booty More and Jumar Bridge are three places that we have shortlisted already,” district fishery official Manoj Kumar Thakur said.

He added that for starters they would give these cottage-shaped movable fish marts to five vendors on a monthly instalment basis, but not charge interest.

Divulging details, Thakur said that they had already begun groundwork.

“We are aiming to make these shops one-stop destinations for customers. These will also be movable and hence the vendor can take it to those areas where the demand is high,” he added.

This apart, in February 2014, about 90 bicycles fitted with insulated iceboxes of 25kg capacity each were distributed among fish vendors in and around Ranchi.

Each cycle-plus-icebox set had cost the department around Rs 7,000.

On cost-sharing, district fisheries officer Thakur said while the BPL vendors had to bear 25 per cent of the cost, their general income counterparts shelled out 50 per cent.

“The cycles are doing well, specially in capital outskirts,” he added.

This apart, the fisheries department also introduced a unique initiative to protect water bodies in the city.

“Most lakes and water bodies in and around the capital are weed-infested and thus unfavourable for fish to flourish. When we released fries of rohu, mrigal and katla, they died due to weeds. So, this time, the department will introduce an exotic species, the grass carp, which not only grows fast, but also eats up weed,” he said.

Grass carp or Ctenopharyngodon idella, a freshwater, herbivorous species, was recently released in Kanke, Getalsud and Jamtoli dams.

The grass carp first cultivated in China for food, but was introduced later for aquatic weed control.