Rs. 1.2 billion spent on aquaculture, but little to show for it

A Rs. 1.2 billion inland fisheries project funded by the Asian Development Bank is about to come to a close, with most of the original objectives remaining unfulfilled. A training centre and other buildings put up as part of the project are showing construction flaws and other defects.

The project comes under the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA). According to sources, no action has been taken to correct the defects in the construction of the National Inland Fishery and Aquaculture Training Centre (NIFATC), in Kalawewa, despite directives from the Fisheries Ministry. The Ministry had asked that an official be appointed to oversee the repairs.

Cracked walls and pavements, leaking pipelines, broken doors, broken commodes, sub-standard drainage for nursery tanks, electricity leaks, and broken furniture are listed among the defects.

Aspects of the project include breeding fish species in long- and short-term tanks; setting up aquaculture development centres for fish-seed cultivation in Udawalawa, Dambulla and Inginiyagala; supplying equipment for inland fisheries in the Northern Province, and promoting aquaculture with government and private sector support.

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