SHILLONG, April 20: With the shortfall in the supply of fresh fish in West Jaintia Hills (WJH) being met with imports from Andhra Pradesh, the fact that this fish reaches the district 18 to 21 day after it is shipped from the source has brought into question the quality of the fish consumed here.
The fact that fish packed in ice is taking this long to reach WJH from Andhra Pradesh was pointed out during a meeting held between the Meghalaya State Planning Board (MSPB) and officials of various departments in the district.
According to officials of the fisheries department, the total consumption of fish in WHJ district is 1770 MT annually while production has now risen to 480 MT annually. The officials reported that at present Andhra fish is meeting the shortfall and it takes about 18 to 21 days for the frozen fish to reach Shillong and thereon to WJH.
Pointing out that there is an opportunity to see if this shortfall of 1362 MT can be also covered within the state itself, members the MSPB led by its Chairman, Salseng C Marak informed that they would take necessary steps to communicate to the State Government to look into this aspect so as to ultimately ensure that the district becomes self sufficient with local in fresh fish.
Meanwhile, MSPB, Co chairman, John F Kharshiing who was also present at the meeting said that the MSPB is encouraged with the information that convergence efforts between the PWD and C&RD is happening within the West Jaintia Hills District, which has provided much relief in providing urgently needed resources for road connectivity and where five such projects were taken up for remote villages and suggested that this approach should be escalated by the two departments to solve this very critical aspect which has affected the delivery of services to many remote villages of Meghalaya and stated that the MSPB would be again meeting the PWD, PHE and C&RD officials on 26th April 2017 in Shillong to discuss taking this matter forward.
Other departments which were reviewed by the MSPB during this meeting include the PWD, PHE, Agriculture, Horticulture, Education, Forest, Soil Conservation, Health, Urban Affairs, Sports, Home (Police), JHADC, Disaster Management, Border, Sericulture, Tourism, C&RD –DRDA, Power (MePDCL), and others departments, officers of which presented reports and challenges they are faced with to the MSPB.