MANGALDAI, Jan 12 � Community feasting during Bhogali Uruka remains incomplete without the sweet and special taste of local fish. In the present scenario, the fish market in the State is dominated by the fish coming from other States like Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh etc., the taste of local fish even during this festival seems to be a far cry. Yet a few community fisheries in the State like the �Suree Pukhuri Meen Mahal Society� of village Balipota, some 20 km from here, has ushered a ray of hope in catering to the huge market demand of local fish during Bhogali bihu festival.
Talking to this correspondent, Tankeswar Deka and Gajen Sarma, the president and the secretary of �Suree Pukhuri Meen Mahal Society� respectively said that last year, the society managed to supply about 42 quintals of fish of local variety like rohu, bhakua, chital, silver carp, mirika, rupchanda to the local markets including Mangaldai and Guwahati and they earned over Rs 5 lakh and this time they are all set to supply more than 50 quintals to the Bhogali market . The size of most of the fishes kept ready for sale are not below 2 kg and beyond 5 kg in weight. Considering the purchasing capacity of common buyers during this festive season, the society has fixed a reasonable market price for each variety of fish and accordingly rohu and bhakua above 2 kg in weight will be charged Rs 300 per kilo , silver carp weighing above 3 kg will cost Rs 160 per kg. The society expects a total sale of Rs 6 lakh from Bhogali market . The office bearers of the society further informed that about 200 families of the locality have been associated with the fishery and a major amount of the income from it has been used for community development like providing financial assistance to poor but meritorious students, persons suffering from cancer, repair of rural roads etc.
Even though the fishery was developed in 1989, since last few years only it has started producing fishes on a commercial basis, said Gajen Sarma, secretary of the society. Regarding support from the State Fishery Department, he said that the District Fishery Department till date has issued two separate grants of financial aids for Rs 1.20 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. On the other hand, another community fishery of Darrang namely �Lakhimpur Anchalik Meen Mahal� has also been making brisk business during this period.
However, more unfortunately the local Fishery Department in the home district of the Fishery Minister can hardly expect to provide fish to consumers of their own on the day of Uruka as the two fish seed farms of the Fishery Department at Dighirpar and Upahupara with an area of 23 and 15 bighas respectively in the district allegedly have nothing to supply in this festive period.