Port Blair, July 4: It was a joyous occasion for the fisher folk of South Andaman, as the much-awaited Modern Fish Market at Junglighat was formally inaugurated by the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.), here this morning. The Member of Parliament, Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray, Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr. Vikram Dev Dutt, Chairperson, PBMC, Mr. Indra Pal Singh, Adhyaksha, ZPSA, Smti. Baby Fareeda, senior officers of the Administration, Ward Councillors and members fisher folk community were present on the occasion. Soon after the inauguration, the Lt. Governor, along with other dignitaries took a round of the market and inspected the facilities available for the fishermen.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor said, the Modern Fish Market at Junglighat has been constructed keeping in mind the need for sanitation and a hygienic environment for the fisher folk community to sell their produce.
Lauding the Fisheries Department, APWD and National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad, for the timely completion of the project, the Lt. Governor, while listing out the facilities available at the market, said that this Modern Fish Market is having a cold storage room where fishermen can store fish upto 5-7 tons, proper tiled sitting arrangement for individual vendors, lighting and fans, electronic weighing scale and a solid and liquid waste disposal machine for conversion of fish waste into manure. He called upon the fishermen to make best use of the facilities made available to them and also to ensure its upkeep, so that the market can be an example of cleanliness. He also asked the PBMC to monitor the sanitation & maintenance and generate revenue from the fish wastes which will be converted into manure.
The Lt. Governor further stated that the Modern Fish Market at Junglighat has set a benchmark for all the fish markets in Isles and the upcoming Modern Fish Market at Mohanpura will also have the same facilities.
Informing about the review meeting of Islands Development Agency (IDA), which was held under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister recently, the Lt. Governor, who is also the Vice Chairman of IDA, said that during the meeting, he apprised the Prime Minister about the progress of infrastructural development, tourism related projects of A&N Islands and issues related to telecom connectivity, shipping sector, crocodile menace etc.
The Lt. Governor also stated that the Govt. is committed towards the welfare of the Islanders and since the last 4 years, A&N Islands has witnessed discernible progress in sectors like roads, bridges, tourism etc. He mentioned that a number of Ministers from important Ministries and Departments have visited the Islands and are visiting the Islands, every now and then, to understand the challenges and assess the need for more infrastructural development, in order to take the Isles towards the path of further progress. The Lt. Governor remarked that in a span of another 2 to 2 ½ years, the fruits of infrastructural development in Isles will be visible on ground.
Regarding the development in tourism sector, the Lt. Governor informed that with the Center’s initiative, under NITI Aayog, four more Islands have been identified for holistic development and the project is gaining steam, adding that efforts will be made by the Administration to ensure that these projects fetch maximum employment opportunities for the Islanders.
In his address, the Member of Parliament lauded the Lt. Governor for taking initiative in following up with the concerned Ministries and pressing for progress in important projects pertaining to A&N Islands. He also expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his concern towards the Islands and implementing important projects for the welfare of the Islanders. The Member of Parliament also enumerated various developmental activities/projects that have been initiated by the Central Government in Isles, in various sectors like Telecom, Shipping, Roads & Highways, Bridges, Tourism, Fisheries & Agriculture, Aviation, Health etc., which has strengthened the faith of the Islanders in the Govt. The MP also lauded the Fisheries Department and APWD for timely completion of the Fish Market and expressed gratitude to NFDB, Hyderabad for sanctioning fund for the construction of the modern fish market here. He also informed about various other upcoming projects in fisheries sector in other parts of Isles and development of Ferrargunj Tehsil as Aadarsh Gram.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary remarked that the inauguration of this Modern Fish Market at Junglighat is the beginning of another milestone achievement of the Fisheries Department; adding that this market has set a benchmark for development of other fish markets in Isles. He stressed on the need for integrated development in Fisheries sector and urged the Department to take the lead in facilitating the fishermen of these Isles with the required facilities. He also asked the Fisheries Department to explore other components of Blue Revolution and ensure its maximum implementation for the fisher folks of the Islands. He remarked that Fisheries Sector can play pivotal role in blue revolution since it has a huge potential and the Fisheries Department must explore the commercial possibilities in this sector by inviting govt. agencies, incorporating expertise skills and dovetail them in planning for development of fisheries in Isles.
The Chief Secretary also lauded the Fisheries Department, APWD for timely completion of the project and stressed on the need for asset maintenance. He also exhorted the fishermen community to make use of the facilities while they must also ensure proper sanitation and hygiene of the market.
Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the Secretary (Fisheries), Mr. Ramesh Verma informed that the project of this Modern Fish Market is funded by the Department of Fisheries, A&N Administration and the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad with the objective to provide a modern and hygienic market for the fishermen and the general public. A similar fish market will also come up at Mohanpura and the project is likely to be completed by December, while similar projects will also be initiated in other Islands in the days to come, he added.
The PBMC Chairperson, while speaking, highlighted the components of the Modern Fish Market viz. 62 individual sitting capacity for fish vendors, electronic weighing machine, cold storage facility for storing unsold fish, bio decompose unit for conversion of fish wastes to manure. He also expressed gratitude to the Administration for initiating such commendable project for the fishermen community adding that a similar fish market will also come at Mohanpura soon.
The programme culminated with the vote of thanks proposed by the Director (Fisheries), Dr. Utpal Kumar Sar.