Farmers are upset with the arbitrary methods of fish seed sales by the Fisheries Department.
Officials from the Fisheries Department are deceiving farmers.
Officials of the department have been unable to deposit the cash received from fish seed sales into the government account so far.
No receipt is being provided to farmers for the purchase of fish seeds for sale.
Reporter: Suraj Sarkar
In the district of Narayanpur, only 6-7 weeks have passed since the start of the rainy season, and the Fisheries Department is already under discussion from the district to rural areas due to its actions. Continuous complaints from fish farming farmers have been received about irregularities in the sale of fish seeds by Deputy Fisheries Officer Dilip Urvesh.
Fish farming farmers are not benefiting from government schemes.
According to information provided by fish farming farmer Mangalu, the Fisheries Department has started selling fish seeds for the past 6 weeks. However, the department has not yet compiled a list of government-mandated rates, so that rural residents and farmers can be informed about the official rates. Farmers are also not receiving any benefit from government schemes or subsidies for fish farming. The department is selling fish at rates exceeding the market price, with rates of ₹600 per kilo for mixed fish and ₹700 per kilo for rohu and catla fish.
Fish of larger size, which is available in the market for ₹150-200, is being sold by the department at a forced price of ₹600-700.
According to information provided by fish farming farmers, fish of the size available in the market for ₹150-200 per kilo is being sold by the Fisheries Department at a rate of ₹600-700 per kilo. This discrepancy in rates is causing significant losses for farmers. Usually, fish seeds of various sizes, including the jira size, are obtained for ₹350-400 per kilo. However, the Fisheries Department is irregularly selling larger fish seeds at rates of ₹7.50-8.50 per piece, causing losses of ₹350-400 per kilo for farmers. This is indirectly benefiting the department’s officials.
Irregularities in Fish Seed Sales by the Department
Fish farming farmers report that the Fisheries Department has been conducting fish seed sales for the past 6 weeks, with sales occurring on Wednesdays and Sundays. According to information obtained from Assistant Fisheries Officer Dilip Urvesh, approximately 120,000 to 180,000 kilos of fish seeds are being sold daily, amounting to ₹240,000 to ₹360,000 per week. However, irregularities in sales are causing farmers to suffer losses. In the past 6 weeks, the department has managed to make sales of approximately ₹840,000 to ₹1,440,000, taking advantage of the hard-earned money of farmers.
Misuse of Position by Assistant Fisheries Officer
Assistant Fisheries Officer Dilip Urvesh is misusing his position by providing free fish seeds to acquaintances on a daily basis. When asked about the cost of these free fish seeds, he replied that no money had been taken for them. These seeds are being provided based on personal connections and not through official channels.
Refusal to Provide Receipts and Misbehavior
Fish farming farmers purchasing fish seeds from the department report that Dilip Urvesh is taking cash for fish seeds without providing any receipt or payment confirmation. Only the names of the farmers are being registered in the records, with no other documentation. The officer leaves the rest of the columns blank and obtains the farmers’ signatures. This lack of transparency and record-keeping makes it difficult to track the use of government funds.
Target-driven Sales and Negligence
Assistant Fisheries Officer Dilip Urvesh is neglecting rules and conducting irregular sales to meet his target of ₹5.5 million for fish seed sales in the year 2023-24. He has already managed to sell fish seeds worth an estimated ₹2.5 million over the past 6-7 weeks. However, the money has not been deposited in government accounts but is being kept in his personal safe.
Neglecting Official Procedures
The Fisheries Department’s officials are neglecting official procedures by not providing bills or receipts for fish seed purchases. Instead, they only write the names of farmers in the register, leaving other columns blank. They are not collecting any Aadhaar card or other documents from farmers. This lack of documentation allows for irregularities in sales and prevents proper record-keeping.
Misuse of Position and Unethical Behavior
Assistant Fisheries Officer Dilip Urvesh is misusing his position by providing free fish seeds to acquaintances on a daily basis. When questioned, he admitted to providing these seeds without any payment. He justified this by claiming it was done at the request of his father. He is not following official procedures and is providing free seeds without any documentation.
Refusal to Provide Information to Media
When media reporters approached the responsible officers to inquire about the situation, they were initially delayed by excuses. Later, when they persisted, Assistant Fisheries Officer Pushpa Vinodiya refused to provide a statement and exhibited inappropriate behavior towards male and female media personnel.