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    Published On : Mon, May 2nd, 2016

    No fish or fowl – pass on the eggs please!

    Fish_2434937fNagpur: Tomatoes that were at Rs. 12/ a Kg have turned Rs. 30. Greens are prohibitively expensive. Rising mercury has already seen price of EVERY vegetable sky rocketing in the city.

    So what does one eat at such times? Non -veg! Proclaim the fish and fowl eaters. Given a choice, fish is considered the healthiest of non veg foods to consume – easy to cook, easy to digest and very healthy because of the Omega 3 and 6 oils it contains. Therefore fish is considered ‘heart food’, unlike mutton which is full of cholesterol. Broiler chicken not everyone prefers and again there are doubts about their ‘safety’ since so many chemicals are used in its breeding. Chicken also carries the dreaded Salmonella bacteria which can lead to bad food poisoning unless one is very careful.

    We are lucky that being so inland, right at the center of the country in fact, we still can avail of sea food/ fish in Nagpur because of the many trains that carry it from Mumbai, Chennai etc.

    Also, there is a huge choice of river fish sold too, sourced from the many water bodies in and around Nagpur. Rohu, Katla, Eel, Waghol are many such fish.

    Who in Nagpur, does not know of the delectable Bhandara prawns, which are as huge as lobsters and a delicacy available in many Saoji joints too?

    But alas! This treasure of the waters, is fast becoming as pricey and scarce as water itself. Yes. even in Nagpur!

    Price of inland fish, including Katla and Rohu, has almost doubled inexplicably.

    While an increase in the price of Sea fish such as Pomfret, Surmai, sea prawns is to be expected in summers, since transporting it becomes dicey in this hot weather, river fish has no reason to become more expensive.

    Speaking to Nagpur Today, a wholesale fish trader in the city Gaur said that

    they had expected Sea fish prices to have gone up by 12-20 per cent and they have. Often there is no availability either even at such high prices.

    Given below are the wholesale prices and retail price of the
    fish available in the city.

    Sr. no.           Name             Weight           Wholesale rate        Retail rate
    01                    Rohu               1000 gms         Rs 120-125                  Rs 160-170
    02                    Katla               1000 gms         Rs 60-85                      Rs 100-120
    03                    Shrimps (Big)                          Rs 400-450                  Rs 500-550
    04                    Shrimps (Small)                       Rs 350-400                  Rs 450-500
    05                    Tenna              1000 gms         Rs 150-160                  Rs 175-180
    06                    Padan              1000 gms         Rs 060-080                  Rs 100-120
    07                    Aar                   1000 gms         Rs 120-200                  Rs 175-250
    08                    Papda              1000 gms         Rs 160-180                  Rs 175-200
    09                    Bam (Sea)       1000 gms         Rs 240-300                  Rs 270-350
    10                    Bam (River)    1000 gms           Rs 140-180                  Rs 180-200
    11                    Pomfret (Black) 1000 gms      Rs 400-500                  Rs 500-600
    12                    Pomfret (White) 1000 gms    Rs 1200-1300              Rs 1300-1500
    13                    Waghur            1000 gms         Rs 85-100                    Rs 100-120
    14                    Silang                1000 gms        Rs 85-100                    Rs 100-120

    Except Pomfrets, Rawas etc. which is sea fish. the others are procured from the following dams, lakes and rivers.
    1. Futala Lake
    2. Ambazhari Lake
    3. Gorewada Lake
    4. Hingna Lake
    5. Hingni Lake
    6. Bela Lake
    7. Ramtek Lake
    8. Panchgaon Lake
    9. UmredLake
    10. Ambora Lake
    11. Baradwani Lake
    12. Ghosi Khurd Dam
    13. Pench Dam
    14. Totladoh Dam
    15. Kanhan River
    16. Mohpa River
    17. Suraburdi River etc.

    Once fish is caught, it is distributed from whole sellers – sitting near Mayo Hospital or the new market in Mangalwari down to traders who sell it at weekly markets like Dharmapeth, Sitabaldi etc. In other seasons, storing fish for a day or two is not a difficult task. However,in summer season, one needs large refrigerators. The smaller traders and sellers (fishmongers) rely on ice-slabs, which they buy, break into smaller pieces and fill thermacoal boxes with the smaller crushed ice pieces and later keeping fish in it.

    However, the cost of ice-slabs (commonly known as ladhi) has suddenly gone up.

    In other seasons, the cost of a big ice-slabs weighing 160 kilograms costs Rs 280/ to Rs. 320/- . However, in summer season, the cost rises to Rs 480/- to Rs 600/- per 160 kilogram slabs.

    The small fishmongers have to buy many ice-slabs to keep the fish that
    they have bought fresh so that the customers are enticed to buy it. As any fish eater knows there is nothing as foul smelling or unappetizing as fish beginning to rot! Thus fish sellers have to invest in ice slabs, however exepnsive they may become.

    One of the fishmongers of Gokulpeth Market Prem claimed that on many
    occasions, they have to bear huge losses too since people chose not to buy fish.

    The supply or in-flow of fish has reduced significantly, since water in all the water bodies mentioned above is drying up fast now that May is here.

    When water levels get so low, fish becomes an easy prey for reptiles and birds. Looks like human beings are not the only one thriving on fish!

    Thus it has become a vicious circle. Less Availability, more demand, more prices.

    So what does a foodie do? Go in for chicken – which though is heat causing in summer and difficult to digest. Or go in for meat which has already gone to Rs. 400 + per Kg in many markets?

    Final option is – turn into becoming eggetarians.

    Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande!!”

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