|Conservation and Restoration of Mahseer(Tor putitora ) through Ranching program at Rishikesh under NMCG project.
Ranching program of Mahseer seed in the Ganga river at Rishikesh near LakshmanJhula was organized by ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore and Allahabad under NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to restore and conserve the depleting and endangered fish species like Mahseer on, 23rd May 2017. Head ofDivision, Dr. R. S. Srivastava, welcomed the guest, in the beginning of the program and the director of the institute Dr B. K. Das explained the project in detail to the gathered audience from various agencies of government departments and NGOs. Followed by the welcome address director CIFRI in his key note address explained the objectives and mandate of the program of ranching at Rishikesh and its likely implications on restoration and conservation of biodiversity in river Ganga focusing Mahseer and Trouts in hill streams, IMC in middle streams and Hilsa in down streams. He informed to the learned audience about the consorted and committed efforts of ICAR-CIFRI to revive and conserve the fish biodiversity in the entire stretch of the river Ganga. He made a acknowledgment with gratefulness to the ministry of water resources and to the honourable ministers addressing their motivation to take up the program even going beyond the approved document for promotion of Hilsa and Mahseermissing in the original documents. He submitted to the audience the assurance of the honourable ministers and advises to submit a separate proposal on Development of Hilsa& restoration and conservation of Mahseer and Hill stream fishes. The proposal is likely to be approved. He made a point that this ranching program of today is an inspiring outcome of honourable minister who was also agreed to grace the occasion to motivate the efforts of CIFRI and communicating his blessings. Though he could not attend the program but communicated his blessings and best wishes for the program through his NMCG representative. He vehemently offered the agencies present on the occasion particularly to Directorate of Fisheries, Uttrakhand to join the hand in developmental program like ranching, hatchery management, collection of wild stock and rearing of seed in pond upto advance finger lings as collaborative partner. Similarly he made an open offer to all the fishery research institute under ICAR, particularly DCFR, Bhimtal to join the hand in development of Mahseer and other Coldwater fishes in the river Ganga. He appreciated the role of Dr A. K. Singh, Director DCFR for providing fingerling of Mahseer and urged to continue to be a partner of this program. He expressed desire before the representative of NMCG to stream line the flow of funds to take the program in a big way without interruption. He emphasised to ensure the livelihood of fisherman community which should be the paramount and final output of this program which cannot be made possible without restoration and conservation of fish biodiversity in the river Ganga and associated ecosystem.Ranching of all the important depleting fish species is scheduled to be done in the entire stretch of the Ganga River.
This function was the initiation of ranching activity in the river. Shri Sunil Kumar, a nominee of NMCG, Delhi described the NamamiGange project in short. He also assured director CIFRI to take steps in continuous flow of funds and eliminating other constraints to allow the program not to become handicapped during execution of program. Professor, Scientists and officials from GurukulKangri University, Haridwar, WII, FRI, Dehradun, Forest Dept. Uttrakhand, Fisheries Dept. Uttrakhand, NIH, Haridwar, Central Pollution Control Board, Central Pollution research institute, Haridwar, Ganga Action Plan, Shiv YogPeeth, Directorate of Coldwater fisheries Research, Bhimtal, NGOs etc. were also present and expressed their views.They suggested measures to reduce pollution and adverse impact of construction of barrages on Ganga and to increase the fishes in the river. The scientist of Directorate of Coldwater advised to repeat the similar ranching process at various points towards uphill streams also to promote the growth of cold water fishes like Mahseer and Trouts. While giving greetings and complements to the audience, collaborative partner, agencies and the NMCG team Dr Srivastava has taken the reference of the restoration and conservation program taken in past in river Ganga by eminent scholars and philosophers like Prof.Banvari Lal Sharma, Dr Anupam Mishra, Prof. R. K. Sinha and several other legends having deep concerned to make Ganga clean and conserve & restore biodiversity in late 70s and early 80s. He urged to all the sister departments including director CIFRI and DCFR to take this motto and commitment while implementing NMCG rejuvenation of Ganga. The event was attended by the students of university, fishers of nearby villages, fish traders and local people living on the bank of the Ganga. Dr D. N. Jha, Scientist, gave vote of thanks at the end of the program.