The apex body of fisheries co-operatives in the country Fishcopfed has an ambitious plan that is bound to make it popular among people. The plan is to take the stink out of the fish markets across India and make it neutral in smell as is the case with the fish markets in the developed countries.
You go to any fish market in Europe; you would not find any smell; why cannot we organize our fish markets on similar lines, asks its MD B K Mishra who has begun the campaign and already cleaned up seven big fish markets in Delhi zone of NCR including the Ghazipur mandi.
But to continue beyond Delhi and to bring it on all India level, he needs support. He has also worked out his mathematics which sounds very simple. Mishra talks of HACAP which is a standardized procedure of handling agricultural produce.
There is an urgent need to have proper drainage, proper icing, slops on which the fish is kept , proper cutting instruments, waste treatment( fish scales can be used as animal feed, he informs), cleaning the shop and the immediate environment two times a day. There must also be toilet facilities around, he added.
Mishra says there are at least 20 organized fish markets on average in each state and this way the total count for the country becomes 720. If you add up the unorganized fish markets the number could be anything between 1000 to 2000; there is need to do a survey, he adds.
Now coming to Delhi, Mishra says MCD charges 20 thousand per month but there is no sanitation drive and there are no toilets to be found. Giving the example of Ghazipur he says there are 250 shops and if I charge mere Rs 100 from each of them, the idea of a clean fish market would fructify.
Fishcopfed is ready to train staff for this purpose who would clean the markets two times a day and ensure a stink-free atmosphere. If one pays Rs 500 or 1000 to RWAs why cannot he pay Rs 100 for his shop, he argues forcefully.
Recently, Mishra took G N Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry to CR Park-the posh market in South Delhi to show him how a team of 5-7 people from the co-op can clean up the area in no time. An impressed Singh promised to help Mishra in achieving his goal.
Mishra needs a supporting hand from the govt and a buck up from his cooperative fraternity to make a visit to fish market for anyone a pleasurable experience.