Hyderabad: The Kaleswaram water pumped into the Lower Manair Dam (LMD) and other adjoining water bodies in Karimnagar district is not only helping the farmers in meeting their irrigation requirements but also enabling in significantly increasing the fish cultivation.
Since LMD, 746 gram panchayat tanks and 141 water bodies in the district were filled with Kaleswaram water, the production of fish has gone by up by 40 per cent. With different varieties of fish being available at reasonable rates, most non-vegetarians and hoteliers are now giving more preference to the lip-smacking fish ‘pulusu’ and fry instead of mutton and chicken dishes.
Earlier, fishermen in the district used to get fish from coastal Andhra and sell it at their outlets. Now, with Kaleshwaram waters reaching LMD, the situation has changed with as many as 1,000 fishermen catching a variety of fish from the LMD and selling it to customers.
Karimnagar District Fisheries Officer Khadeer Ahmed said the fishermen were managing to produce more than one ton fish every day from LMD which was not the case earlier. The Fisheries Department has set a target of producing 6,060 tons of fish by March-end.
“We have already produced 5,450 tons of fish by March 1 and we are hopeful of reaching the target by this month end,” he said, adding that Kaleswaram turned into a boon for the fishermen whose business opportunities improved a lot due to increase in the production. “The fishermen are now selling Rohu, Bocha (Catla), Korramenu (Murrel) and Naatu Jillelu for prices ranging from Rs 130 a kg to Rs 160 a kg,” Ahmed said.
According to feedback received by the department, those eating mutton and chicken were now preferring fish because of its nutritional values and less cholesterol. In terms of cost too, fish was much cheaper than a kg of chicken or mutton.
Kaleswaram Irrigation Project Corporation Limited Managing Director B Hari Ram said the water bodies till Kondapochamma project were filled with water. The Fisheries Department would become a profit generation wing as fish production would increase significantly after completion of all the irrigation projects soon.
It is not only those residing in Karimnagar but also people from the city visiting their native places in the district during weekends and holidays who were purchasing fish while returning to Hyderabad.
“For the first time, we are surprised to see so many makeshift stalls in Karimnagar district selling fish. We purchased two kgs fish while returning to the city,” said a Social Development Specialist, K Rajasekhar from Trimulgherry, who recently visited his hometown in Karimnagar.
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