Monday, December 28, 2009

Proposal for India’s first Aqua Park gathers moss

Proposal for India’s first Aqua Park gathers moss
Pavan Kumar H, Bangalore, Dec 27, DHNS:

The project remains on paper, thanks to lack of financial support, administrative will.

A proposal to set up India’s first Aqua Park in Bangalore, mooted two years ago continues to gathering dust. The project was all set to become a reality, when a sum of Rs two crore was announced in 2007, for setting up the Park.

In preparation, cive teams from the State Fisheries Department had visited all the major fishery hubs in India.However, the project has remained on paper due to lack of financial support and administrative will.

Sources in the State Fisheries Department said that ever since the new Government was formed last May, not a single review meeting has been held to discuss the project.
“Of the Rs two crore announced, only Rs one crore was released this year,” said Dr N R Ramakrishna, State Joint Director, Department of Fisheries. “We are also technically hamstrung as our engineers were transferred out with no replacement,” he added.
Even if the project started immediately, sources said it would take another year and a half to complete.

Of the Rs one crore that has been released, Rs 35 lakh has been sanctioned for levelling of the ground, sinking of borewells and drains. The construction work is expected to start in January 2010.

On 13 acres land
The proposed Aqua Park is supposed to come up on 13 acres of land at Hessaraghatta on the outskirts of Bangalore. It will have facilities like laboratory, quarantine, power and water supply, covering six acres of land provided by the Government to private entrepreneurs. The remaining land will be divided into half-an-acre each, for the establishment of tanks and offices for private parties.

“The Government will provide all the technical support like laboratories, quarantines and certification of fishes. The private entrepreneurs will establish their setup and produce ornamental fishes. They can either do business locally or export them,” said Ramakrishna, the prime mover of the project.

Presently, the State is getting its ornamental fish from either Chennai or Kolkata. “There are about 500 fish-related shops in Bangalore and almost all of them are getting fish from Chennai, Bombay or Kolkata,” said Narayana K, Curator of Government Aquarium.

State’s contribution nil
“The present contribution of Karnataka to the Fisheries is very little with only a few private entrepreneurs trading. If an Aqua Park is established, all those shops will be benefited and acclimatisation will increase the lifespan of the fish”, he added. According to the joint director, the Aqua Park would help farmers. “The fish seeds (eggs or seedlings) produced by private entrepreneurs in the Aqua Park could be sent to farmers who would rear them in their farm or house. Once they are big enough they will be returned to the private parties or sold. This will generate employment and economy in villages,” said Ramkrishna.

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