Fishery industry in Himachal Pradesh is providing ample opportunities for livelihood to the people and has also emerged as an important source of revenue to the State. The State Government is endevouring to bring “Blue Revolution” and is encouraging youth for adopting fish farming as self-employment for which numerous incentives have been offered.
During last four years, 42881.475 metric tonne fish worth Rs. 38994.6 lakh were produced from all the existing water resources of the State. The Fisheries department by earning more than rupees four crore annually is contributing a lot in the states financial exchequer, besides providing self-employment opportunities to thousands of people.
With the technical assistance of Central Institute of Technology, Kochin, the state government is establishing four fish processing units at Bhakhara (Govind Sagar), Khatiar (Pog Dam), Katauhad Kalan (Una) and Ratyod (Solan). Fish added product like fish pickle, fish filets, fish bowl, fish finger papad etc. would be prepared in these units and would be made available in the market. As modern techniques would be used in preparation of these products, these could be used even after a period of more than one year from manufacturing date.
In order to create more self-employment opportunities in this sector, various schemes amounting to over Rs. 35 crore apart from regular budgetary provision were sanctioned and implemented during last four year. Rs.13 crore are being spent alone under the ‘Blue Revolution’ scheme during this financial year. A provision of subsidy to the tune of Rs. 80 thousand to rupees one lakh has been made under the scheme to provide more self-employment opportunities to the local people. Under the scheme hatcheries, fish farms, small and big fish ponds, fishery feed units and trout units are being established. Post fish exploring arrangements to keep the fishes fresh and safe for use and work of fish added products are being also undertaken. Apart from this, all the fish farms are also being modernized and hatcheries are being prepared in the private sector as well so that fish seed requirements could be met out.
To engage the youth in fisheries activities, various schemes are being implemented in the State. For construction of pond of one hectare size, financial assistance of rupees one lakh is being provided to SC/ST beneficiaries while Rs. 80,000 to the general category.
With the concerted efforts of the State Government and keen interest shown by the people towards fisheries activities, full time self-employment has been provided to 6098 fishermen in major reservoirs of the State during last four years, which include 2741 in Govind Sagar, 2831 in Pong Dam, 145 in Chamera, 41 fishermen in Maharaja Ranjeet Sagar and 340 in Kol Dam.
The Fisheries department is providing fishery support services through 12 fish seed farms out of which, six are trout and remaining carp farms. Two more trout farms are under construction at Thala (Bharmour) and Banjar (Hamani) besides one carp fish farm at Poanta Sahib. The funds have been sanctioned for Rainbow Aquarium-cum-Museum Centre at Dharwala in Chamba. With introduction of rainbow trout production technique, 611 more trout units have been established in the state.
The Major fish species available in the streams of Himachal Pradesh are trout, mahasheer, barilus, glyptothorax etc. With an aim to bring the blue revolution in the State two new species including Hungarian common carp and Amoor common carp have been imported. With successful production of Hungarian common carp at Deoli (Ghaghas) in Bilaspur district, the Blue Revolution has got new dimension in the state.
The State Government is committed to ensure the social and economic safety of fishermen. 12000 active fishermen working in the reservoirs of the State have been brought under Reservoirs Fishermen Accident Insurance Scheme. Under this scheme there is a provision to provide rupees two lakh to the dependents of the fishermen in case of his death or permanent disability and rupees one lakh in case of partial disability. A cover of rupees 10 thousand has been provided towards hospitalization expenses. The Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh share the insurance premium in 50:50 ratios.
The State Government provides financial assistance to the fishermen when the fishery season is off. The financial assistance which has been increase from rupees 1800 to rupees 3000 is distributed to them in two installments. Proportionate amount is contributed by Central and State Governments where as a part of amount is contributed by the fishermen with a deposit of Rs. 100 per month in consecutive 10 fishing months.
The State Government is also providing training and technical guidance to the entrepreneurs who adopt fish farming as self-employment. Besides, the government is also providing financial assistance for the renovation of ponds and tanks, to prepare new pond, to establish fish feed units and for the integrated fish farming.