The fish tanks set up with much enthusiasm for a Department of Biotechnology project in Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Weeds, creepers and plants grow out of a few while few others are filled with waste. The tanks that can be utilised for research or other purposes are now lying idle.
Nets to cover the tanks are worn out and damaged and the plastic sheets which act as beds for the tank torn and tattered. The aquariums inside the room set up for the training in ornamental fish culture for income and employment generation to uplift the socio-economic status of rural population of Kumbalam panchayat are also in a neglected state.
The `20-lakh project taken up in 2007 came to an end in 2010 and around 300 people in Kumbalam were trained in ornamental fisheries. Some of them are still pursuing the scheme. Many benefited from it through the sale of ornamental fish through KAVIL.
The principal investigator of the project said that after the project came to an end and training given in April and May, only one research fellow has been pursuing the work and so the place is under-utilised. Though the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has sanctioned a `2.5-crore project for Niche Area of Excellence (NAE) in 2010 in which ornamental fisheries was chosen as the niche area the project did not take off. The university lost a prestigious project and funds.
Vice-Chancellor B Madhusoodana Kurup said the project has come to an end. Proposals for new projects will be submitted and the place will be utilised. Funds have been sanctioned for research projects.
The Registrar admitted that the tanks are turning into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If no steps are taken “I will write to the authorities concerned to transfer the place to the Aquiculture Department,” said Registrar Abraham Joseph.