The state chief minister, Madhu Kora has pointed out the great scope for development of fisheries and said that his state has around 132,000 hectare of water bodies suitable for fisheries. Fish production in Jharkhand has increased from 14,000 tonne in the 9 th Plan period to 55,000 tonne in the 10th Plan period. However, the annual fish production is 1,430 kg per hectare as compared to the national average of 2,150 kg per hectare.
Jharkhand gets about 1300 mm annual rainfall. The rainfall over the region has become erratic with the climate change and the state lacks assured irrigation facility with only 22% of the net sown area covered under irrigation. Therefore, alternative sources of livelihood like inland fisheries needs to be explore, Kora said.
Kora has suggested augmenting water in Swarnarekha basin by forging linkages with South Koel river and Shankh river as well as linking of rivers Ganga, Damodar and Swarnarekha.
He said that all ongoing irrigation projects under AIBP in the state were roughly 25 to 30 years old. As a result there has been many fold increase in the original cost. On account of the delay in completion of old projects, six new projects under AIBP were not getting investment clearance. Consequently, irrigation potential of 41,000 hectare would not be created.
Even seven incomplete projects which fulfills the criteria for inclusion under AIBP are not being taken up under AIBP and as a result 127,000 hectare area of irrigation potential would not be created. Kora, therefore has suggested to Centre to relax the norms for Jharkhand.