DIPHU, July 12: The fish business in Diphu has gone down for the past several days after the authorities clamped down on formalin-laced fish, coupled with consumers’ fear of chemically enhanced food, and its adverse impact on health.
The blanket ban in the state on import of fish, prohibition against storage, distribution and sale of fish products including crustaceans treated with formalin or other forms of preservatives has hit the livelihood of many fish vendors and suppliers in the both district of Karbi Anglong.
The designated officer (food safety), Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong has issued a notice on July 11 that all fish sellers as per government notification No.FSC/17/2018/8 dated July 10, 2018, the storage, distribution or sale of fresh fish and crustaceans brought from outside that state is prohibited in the entire district of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong for a period of 10 days till corrective measures are taken from the date of issue of the notification.
As per reports the presence of formalin is suspected in the fishes brought from Andhra Pradesh and other states. Due to this the Assam government on Wednesday last banned import of fish from other states and sale of the same in the state for a period of 10 days. Fishes from outside have not arrived since July 2 and the fishes from within Karbi Anglong and from the neighbouring districts have become costlier.
A whole sale fish dealer in Diphu market, Prasanta Timung said he has stopped dealing in fishes brought in from outside the state.
Timung said, “After we got the information from various sources that fishes supplied into the state has been banned in other places of Assam said to be due to the presence of hazardous chemical substances, we have stopped dealing in it.”
He said with the absence supplied fish, the prices of fish caught from local ponds and in neighbouring places like Nagaon, Doboka, Langka, Hojai and Lumding which are auctioned in Diphu fish market have gone higher.
Bahu fish which was normally retailed at Rs. 400 has now gone up to Rs. 500, while Rohu fish sold at Rs. 300 is now sold at Rs. 400. The auction price of fishes has also increased. Timung rue that the supply of local fishes is not sufficient.
A fish vendor, Jivan Sah has not done much business since the ban on fishes from outside the state.
He said, “After the ban I could not sell any fish for a week and was just spending the days idly. On Thursday with about 10 kilos of local fish I have sat down to sell them.”