Shillong: Meghalaya State Planning Board (MSPB) chairman Lambor Malngiang will carry out a spot inspection next month on fish ponds sanctioned and constructed under the aquaculture mission.
During a press gathering, Malngiang said, “Since the last review meeting, the board is waiting for details from the fishery department, because after the fishing ponds have been sanctioned we should be able to produce more if one is to predict. So with detailed information, the board will be able to carry out this spot inspection within one timeframe and not leave work pending.”
The board aims to conduct the inspection for verification by November. Focus areas will be those fishing ponds that have been invested at a cost of Rs 20-25 lakh.
“We would like to see the production of these fishing ponds. We have also written to the minister in charge of the loopholes in the work and not to blame or point fingers on others but there is a need for a spot inspection. A total of 27,000 beneficiaries have been sanctioned from which 19,000 has been constructed. This inspection will be to verify and through that process, we will be able to find out if any funds have been misused. Because once we have 27,000 fishing ponds then we will become a state-dependent on ourselves for the fishery section we may even start exporting fish to the neighbouring states,” added Malniang.
Meanwhile, concerning agricultural land being converted into fish ponds, Malngiang said there have been reports in Ri Bhoi district wherein some farmers are getting subsidy from the government while some are private investments. Those that fall under private investment no interference can be made, but any agricultural land that is productive the board will work on preserving it and ensure that those lands are not affected. Also emphasising the need to make the fisheries act stringently while implementing the programme.
On issues concerning the state health department, Malniang. said, “The need for more lorry trucks carrying medicines to Garo hills. With only one truck ferrying medicines, in most cases, the medicines do not reach respective places on time and also becomes a bigger problem during emergency. District health medical officers from nearby districts came out to convey the same issues and how it has become a burden.