PANAJI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the first mobile fish stall at the Captain of Ports jetty in the city, on Friday, which will make available quality fish to the public around the state, at a subsidised rate.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and the Minister for Fisheries, Avertano Furtado were also present on the occasion.
The mobile fish stall has been made available under a scheme of the National Fisheries Development Board, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, and would be supervised by the state fisheries department.
The announcement to implement this scheme was made by Parrikar himself, in the capacity of the state chief minister in his 2013 Budget speech.
The scheme came about because of widespread public perception that fish had become very expensive and difficult for the common man to buy.
Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said that the effort of the government to supply quality fish at a controlled rate to the public is an experiment, and the success of this experiment would decide the future of the particular scheme.
“Till now, the hotels and restaurants in Goa were receiving fish at the wholesale rate and now, the introduction of the mobile fish stall will ensure that the people will receive the fish at the same rate,” he maintained. The Minister for Fisheries said that this is first of the five mobile fish stalls received from the central government in the form of a vehicle. “The other four mobile fish stalls are almost ready and would soon be pressed into service,” he stated, adding that the inaugurated mobile fish stall has been handed over to the society of fishermen linked to the Chapora fishing jetty, which will be in charge of its operation as well as maintenance. This mobile fish stall will be operational in areas near the Chapora fishing jetty, including Siolim village.
Furtado also informed that apart from the societies linked to the fishing jetties, if any self-help group or farmers’ club desires to operate the mobile fish stall, the government will consider the same. “In South Goa too, fishermen societies linked to jetties like Cutbona would be handed over the mobile fish stalls, so that people in South Goa will receive subsidised fish,” he added.
The inaugurated mobile fish stall on the opening day offered chonak (giant sea perch) fish for sale, with a kilogramme of normal-sized chonak costing Rs 400, while a kilogramme of large-sized chonak priced at Rs 430. The mobile fish stall has provision of ice box to store a maximum of two tonne of fish, and will sell a maximum of two kilogramme of fish per customer.
As per the information provided by the department of fisheries, the total cost of every mobile fish stall is Rs 11.64 lakh. The vehicle is designed to have a sale cum display counter and a weighing counter, wash basin, water tank, drain tank, weighing scale, etc. “The fish will be sold at 5 per cent above the wholesale price, which will be much lower than the retail price of the fish,” the information stated.