EM Exclusive, Nagaland
Nagaland: Ice-making equipment at Doyang rusting
Wokha, March 17 (EMN): The market stalls piled high with glistening catch-of-the-day are as much a tourist attraction in Wokha as the picturesque Mount Tiyi.
Just a short drive from Wokha town leads to Doyang hydro project dam, Nagaland’s largest hydro power plant, as well as a reservoir for fresh water fish.
The owner of a private fish landing centre informed Eastern Mirror that during peak season, around 100 to 200 kilos of fish are collected in a day and around 20 to 30 kilos during off-season.
The department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources had set up an ice-making plant at Doyang and inaugurated it on April 27 2012, to assist fishermen in preserving their catch.
However, the cold storage facility has remained idle for the last seven years.
The owner said that he usually collects fish and stock up for a day or two with the help of a large two-door deep freezer. He added that an ice-making plant was an important requirement to avoid rotting as the fresh fish were to be sent to other places.
Fish caught at Doyang dam are said to be sent to the neighbouring Assam state and to Kohima and Dimapur as per the demand of the Fishery department.
The purpose of the plant was to stock the fish for a few days before being transported as per order (consignment).
However, this vital cold storage facility is non-functional for years now due to reasons related to lack of revenue generation and power supply (commercial).
Sources informed that the plant has been non-active for the past seven years or more, because of which the equipment is now ‘rusted’.
District Fishery Officer, Wokha, C Dory Yanthan, informed Eastern Mirror that the ‘Doyang fishing culture’ has remained non-functional for the past three to four years.
She said more equipment will be required to make the plant functional again and that such a facility is needed at the site.
Meanwhile, solar lights, floaters for boundary demarcation, railings and certain necessary equipment have also been found missing, she said.
The official went on to say that the department had requested for state power line from the executive engineer (Power) Wokha but ‘the department could not incur the expenditure as the distance was too far from the tapping point’.
She said that in 2011, the department had written to the general manager, North Eastern Electric Power Corporaton Limited, Doyang, for provision of a 63 KVA temporary power line.
The then deputy commissioner, Rovilauo Mor, also wrote to the general manager and HOP Doyang in June 2011, requesting the same.
It was informed that on May 6, 2013, the department had leased out the 5MT capacity ice plant to the Doyang fishing community for a period of five years at INR 10,000 per annum payable within January 30, to be received after one year.
However, the community could not run the plant as it proved ‘too expensive’ to operate with fuel in the absence of power.
On August 13, 2018, the district fishery officer, Wokha had also written to the deputy commissioner to take up the matter regarding the power supply to HOP, Doyang.
The department further requested the Power department for an estimate preparation of a transformer. Accordingly, the EE (Power) prepared the estimate and submitted it to the Directorate (Fisheries and Aquatic Resources), it was informed.
Meanwhile, the official shared that the department provides assistance to the fishing community through various projects every year.
In 2020, the department released 1.76 lakh of fingerlings at Doyang dam to ensure good catch for the fishermen, she added.