The prices of local fish shoot up in the state after in-depth research and inquiry has been ordered by the state government to detect the presence of poisonous formalin in imported fish (Challani).
Due to this, the burden of the price rise will now fall upon the shoulders of the ordinary people who will have to pay double the price for consuming local fish.
Notably, the price of local fish has increased by Rs 100 to Rs 200.
According to sources, 1 kg of Magur (Asian cat fish) which used to cost around Rs 1200, now costs Rs 1600 and the price of Bhokua fish (South Asian carp) has increased from Rs 300 to Rs 400. Meanwhile, the price of the largest Bhokua fish has increased from Rs 500 to Rs 500. Moreover, the cost of Aari fish (Giant river catfish) went up from Rs 600 to Rs 850.
While speaking to Pratidin Time, one of the consumers in the market said, “Fish is a popular food choice enjoyed by the majority of people in our state on a daily basis. People like me will buy local fish, even if it means paying more upfront.”
Earlier on Friday, the fisheries department of Assam has asked four institutes in the state to conduct in-depth research & inquiry about the presence of formalin in imported (chalani) fishes.
This was directed by the Fisheries Minister Parimal Suklabaidya in light of the new development.
The institutes will be required to submit a report with the Director of Fisheries after research & multiple testing of various fish samples, an official statement read.
Earlier, the state fishery department had said it does not have adequate facilities to conduct preliminary testing to detect formalin in imported fish.
For this reason, the said department has not yet conducted formalin testing on imported fish in Guwahati city, a source said.
Notably, the presence of formalin in the fishes was first detected in a report published by the Zoology Department of Nagaon College.
In a press conference, a group of research students of the college said that they had collected samples from various local fish markets across the district and examined all the samples in all aspects at the local laboratory as well as the laboratory in Guwahati. During this, the research team got confirmation about the presence of that poisonous substance in fish available on the market.