FPJ Exclusive: Ice shortage due to power cuts hits fishermen hard in peak season

Not only does ice affect fishermen, the quality of ice also takes a hit due to the power cuts, said a fisherman

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Saturday, April 30, 2022, 07:54 PM IST
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FPJ Exclusive: Ice shortage due to power cuts hits fishermen hard in peak season |

Although the twin-city is so far free from power cuts, the fishing community from the coastal areas of Uttan near Bhayandar is facing a tough time due to an acute shortage of ice amidst load shedding in other districts.

The quaint fishing villages including Uttan, Pali and Chowk are home to around 750 fishing boats in the region. Each of these traditional and mechanised boats needs at least three tonnes of ice depending upon the quantity of catch and days spent for their voyage. There is one ice manufacturing unit in Uttan, but it can cater to only 25 per cent of the current demand. The rest is sourced from other manufacturing units located in Taloja, Kaman, Vashi and other parts of Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts. However, these areas are facing power interruptions leading to a shortfall in ice production in the manufacturing units which are unable to fulfil the demands.

“Ice is a very crucial ingredient to preserve fish during the voyage and its shortage is taking a heavy toll on the fishing business. The government should tackle the power crisis and also make arrangements to ensure regular supply of ice for the fishing community which is also reeling under a crisis,” said local municipal corporation Sharmila Bagaji.

Apart from Uttan, other nearby coastal areas including Manori, Gorai and Vasai are facing a similar situation.

The fisherfolk are already worried that the ice shortage will push up the prices of fish owing to a significant rise in logistical expenses. This at a time when the catch is much better this year due to the existing weather conditions. Usually, it takes around 36 to 48 hours for the formation of ice blocks in the conventionally manufactured plants. However, due to frequent power interruptions, the process time doubles or even triples up leading to an acute shortage. Not only does ice affect fishermen, the quality of ice also takes a hit due to the power cuts, said a fisherman.

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