Bhopal:Sunday, July 27 :The major reservoirs in the Narmada Valley, besides providing irrigation and power benefits are ready to open new avenues to bring Madhya Pradesh among the fish producing state of the first line. The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute estimates that all the seven major reservoirs made by the Narmada Valley Development Authority would provide cumulative water area of 84,647 hectares for fish cultivation. If scientific and strategic measures are incorporated to exploit the fishing benefits from these reservoirs, a continuous production of as much as 3500 metric tones per year will be ensured. This amounts to Rs. 25.77 crores. It is to note here that the state is proud to have the largest man made reservoir of the country made out of Indira Sagar irrigation and power project over river Narmada in Khandwa district. A total of 913 sq. km. spread of this reservoir provides 59029 hectare water area for fish production.
The second largest water body is Sardar Sarovar reservoir area under Madhya Pradesh. This provides 10,000 hectare water body. In addition, Omkareshwar project reservoir (Khandwa dist.) provides 8330 hectare, Man reservoir (Dhar dist.) provides 696 hectares, Jobat reservoir (Jhabua dist.) provides 946 hectares, Upperbeda reservoir (Khargone dist.) provides 830 hectare and Maheshwar project reservoir (Khargone dist.) would provide 4816 hectares water body for quality fish cultivation.
The chairman of Narmada Valley Development Authority and Minister for Narmada Valley Department Shri Nagendra Singh informed that NVDA is moving towards formulation of a well thought strategic plan aimed at exploiting full fish potential of these reservoirs with providing employment and subsidiary benefits to the displaced families due to reservoirs. Nagendra Singh said that traditional practices of letting out reservoirs on yearly contract may not incompass the rights of fishermen and benefit to the state at large. Fishing in such a large and deep water bodies would certainly need an advanced approach including induction of latest fishing equipments, training the rural fishermen, providing storage and transportation facilities, scientific assistance in producing fish seeds, a well searched marketing network and establishing supporting industries like packaging, oil extracting etc. In a high level meeting at Jabalpur the other day, the minister Nagendra Singh directed officials to keep on interactions with persons and organizations concerned to this and collect feedback to make a unified plan in this matter. The vice chairman of NVDA informed that a training programme had been launched for rural fishermen. About 300 fishermen including 100 women were trained so far. He said that fishing activities may provide employment to nearly 10,000 families of the valley.