Gangtok, April 20 (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang inaugurated two days long Fish Mela, organised at M.G. Marg, Gangtok, today.
The inaugural function was also attended by the Hon’ble Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly Shri L. B. Das, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairmen, Political Secretary to Hon’ble Chief Minister, Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Senior officials and fish farmers.
The programme is being organised by the Directorate of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department, Government of Sikkim in collaboration with National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, Government of India.
Different species of fish including the Rainbow Trout, Carp, Grass Carp, Amur Carp and other local indigenous fish are being displayed by the fish farmers from across the State, following the COVID-19 safety protocols.
In his address, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang said that he is overwhelmed to see the young entrepreneurs displaying different varieties of fish in the Mela. He also added that the purpose of organising the event is to encourage the youth to take up fisheries as a sustainable means of livelihood and also to promote fish farming in the State.
Considering the potential of stream water in the state, he encouraged the youth to adopt pond fish rearing in their own locality which will not only generate the income but will also meet the demand of the market. He further added that a separate budgetary provision will be made in the next budget for the fish farmers in order to augment fish farming community in the State.
The Chief Minister stated that the previous year has been the challenging phase due to global pandemic and added that several steps have been taken by the Government of India and the State Government to face the challenges and threat posed by COVID-19. The Chief Minister also informed that to curb the further spread of COVID 19 in the State, the Government will announce that all the Schools, Colleges will remain close till April 30. He further said that all the Government Offices to function with 50% employees from 22nd April 2021.
The Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang also appealed to the people of the State to curtail the un-necessary travelling out of the State and asked them to strictly follow COVID -19 appropriate behaviour.
Addressing the gathering, the Hon’ble Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma marked the event a historic for the State. The programme has been organised to motivate fish farmers and unemployed educated youth towards fish farming to make themselves self sufficient. He stated that the Fisheries, Livestock Farming and Agriculture farming would be an appropriate medium to ensure sustainable livelihood towards Aatmanirbhar Sikkim. The Minister urged everyone to adopt agriculture and livestock farming to increase GDP of the State thereby ensuring healthy lifestyle. He also articulated on newly launched concept “Future is Farming” to sensitise the masses to indulge into farming and market their agricultural products.
The Minister also mentioned that the farmers from all districts have come forward to participate in much awaited Fish Mela and also expressed gratitude to the farmers for their cooperation during the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated the same level of dedication and support in the current wave of COVID-19.
It may be mentioned that the fish farmers from Regu, Bashilakha, Tenkilakha, Pakyong, Sadam, Chouridara, Sokpay, Mangshila, Theng, Marchak, Men Rongong, Chota Samdong, Upper Rimbik, Upper Rumbuk, Sribadam have exhibited various species of fish in their stalls.
Earlier, the Chief Minister along with the dignitaries visited the stalls being put up by fish farmers and also interacted with them.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister also felicitated Dr. Pushpa Tamang with a Certificate of Appreciation for the research work done on fisheries, who was then working as Research Assistant in Directorate of Fisheries, and had recorded 48 species of local fish in the rivers of Sikkim.
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by the Director, Directorate of Fisheries Shri N. Jaswant.