JOAO SOUSA M | NT
The formalin-hit traders from neighbouring states on Saturday treaded cautiously on resuming fish transportation into Goa, as just 14 fish-carrying vehicles mostly from Karnataka arrived at the Polem check-post early Saturday morning.
Before the ban had been imposed, at least 70 trucks would come to Goa passing through the Polem border.
A total of three teams consisting of four members each will watch out on the fish transportation at the check-posts round-the-clock with the help of police personnel.
A four-member FDA team arrived at the check-post an hour before the fish import ban officially expired. They commenced conducting the test on the fish – ‘dhoddyare’ – from the first vehicle at the stroke of midnight. The vehicle had reached the check-post nearly an hour before the testing began.
The FDA teams, which included Rajaram Patil, Shivdas Naik, Arjun and Sudip Naik, found themselves busy in testing the fish, as several trucks carrying ice and shellfish
pulled over. The FDA teams collected the samples and carried out the tests: the teams randomly lifted fish samples and conducted the tests, and the entire process took approximately 20 minutes for each test.
The FDA team also retained a few samples of the tested fish in an insulated box.
Throwing light on the tests, officials said that as per the new technology-driven methods, if there is a change in colour then it indicates that the fish is contaminated.
Equipped with just a torch, the FDA officials conducted the tests, which was an onerous task as mostly insulated trucks and tempos loaded with fish kept on coming at the Polem border check-post.
All the fish samples taken at the check-post turned negative.
A couple of trucks headed to the fishmeal plant at Cuncolim.
The government action to conduct the spot tests at the border evoked mixed response. Some local traders pointed out that the FDA tests may not be foolproof as outside traders could conceal the contaminated fish in the crates kept at the bottom on the truck.
It was suggested that the number of people posted to carry out the tests should be increased.