Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the government was planning to set up a facility for doing research on the hilsa fish whose numbers are fast dwindling in Indian waters.
"Hilsa is being sold at Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000 per kg. So far we have never stressed on establishing research centres for hilsa. But now, we are planning to set up a research centre on the fish," Banerjee said at a gathering in Bokkhali in South 24-Parganas district.
The fish is widely consumed in India, particularly on special occasions. The anadromous fish migrates from seawater to freshwater to breed. Its price has shot up due to its dwindling population in Indian waters.
"The hilsa, which we get here comes here from Myanmar via Bangladesh. Therefore, the cost increases. If we can procure the fish directly from Myanmar, the cost will be less. We are also working in this direction," Banerjee said.
The chief minister also laid emphasis on onion cultivation in Bengal to decrease dependency on other states.
"We have to buy onions from Nashik in Maharashtra. Now we do not need to buy them from outside as we will grow them in the state," she said.