PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE KOCHI l SUNDAY l JUNE 23, 2019 l `8.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE CITY EDITION COVER STORY WEB SERIES VS CINEMA A REGAL FEAST TOKYO TRIUMPH Tisca Chopra has joined the growing list of actors who have debuted in a web series with her role as a doc in Hostages. She says edgier, more intelligent content is the need of the hour for Bollywood Celebrity chef Kunal Kapur’s latest show The Royal Palate traces the food items that were born in the palaces of ancient India Pune-born Yogendra Puranik, the first person of Indian origin to win an election in Japan, talks about his affinity to the Land of the Rising Sun EXCLUSIVE VOICES LET’S TALK The competitive climate in Indian cities big and small has led to a crisis of confidence among youth. Motivational speakers step in with a new world view to address the alienation and depression that is affecting the youngsters Shankkar Aiyar T J S George ■ Anahita Mukherji ■ ■ CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Fresh clashes in Bengal, BJP worker dies After a break, monsoon gains strength in state Heavy rain, thunderstorm likely to prevail in most parts of Kerala, Lakshadweep in the next five days Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea in Lakshadweep as strong wind with speed reaching 45-55 km per hour is expected from the westerly direction Strong wind from southwesterly direction with speed reaching 35-45 km is likely along and off Tamil Nadu coast Party delegation blames police firing for Thursday’s deaths in Bhatpara P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata Unmindful of the heavy rain, children practising football at Ambedkar Stadium in Kochi on Saturday | ARUN ANGELA NEITHER THE PARTY NOR WILL I PROTECT BINOY, SAYS KODIYERI E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at the press meet on Saturday | VINCENT PULICKAL When children go abroad, parents cannot go after them. He, being an adult, it’s for him to prove his innocence. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan DISTANCING himself from the Binoy Kodiyeri row, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Saturday made it clear that neither he nor the party would protect his son Binoy, who has been charged with rape. “The party cannot take responsibility for the wrongdoings of family members,” he said. In his first public response after the Mumbai Oshiwara police booked his son on charges of rape and cheating, the CPM state chief said it was the individual responsibility of the accused to prove his innocence. Denying reports the complainant had approached him, Kodiyeri said he came to know about the issue only after reports came out. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had already made clear the party’s stance on the issue, Kodiyeri said. “The party will not intervene in the issue. There’s a certain approach followed by the party in such matters. It will not protect anyone facing such charges. In this issue also, that’s my stance,” Kodiyeri told mediapersons in between the state secretariat meets. Kodiyeri also said he was n o t aw a re o f B i n oy ’s ● More on P6 whereabouts. Bureaucratic rule in many local bodies: Kodiyeri T’Puram: In many local bodies, the norms set by the state government to issue licences within the stipulated time are not followed by bureaucratic rule, CPM state chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said on Saturday. Responding to questions on the NRI’s suicide in Anthoor, Kodiyeri blamed secretaries for trying to function over and above people’s representatives. He urged the government to look into this aspect and take necessary steps. Kodiyeri said in the case of Anthoor, the municipal chairperson was instructed to issue the said licence. The engineer too had recommended the same, but the secretary reportedly delayed it. KILLER DISEASE AES drives Bihar villagers out of homes State has highest number of malnourished children, too S A N A S H A K I L @ Muzaffarpur NEARLY 17 frightened families have abandoned their homes in Harbanshpur village in Bihar’s Vaishali district after Acute Ence phalitis Syndrome (AES) claimed the lives of six children in the village. Other poor families that are unable to migrate have dispatched their children to faraway districts to save them from the clutches of the killer disease. Most of the villagers are dailywage workers who have exhausted all their earnings transporting their sick children from their village to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. In many cases, the children did not even make it to the hospital and perished midway . Some of the parents did not have enough money left in hand to even perform the last rites of their beloved children. While authorities in state-run hospitals in Bihar are stretched beyond their capacity, angry villagers have no option but to vent their ire in the dry fields, wipe their tears and move on in search of greener pastures. This is the current status of districts in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali in Bihar where the fast-spread- K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi Reena Devi, who lost two children to AES, with her surviving son | EXPRESS Root cause still a mystery Since the syndrome’s root cause is still not known, precaution and containment are the only steps that can be taken for now, say experts ing AES is giving parents of minor children sleepless nights. Reena Devi from Harbanshpur village lost two children to the syndrome. She now clings to her surviving five-year-old like her life depended on it. THE high number of deaths due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur, blamed largely on malnutrition, is no surprise as Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand top the list of States with the highest number of malnourished children. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest data, 44% of the children in Bihar are underweight while the country’s average is 35%. It’s worse in Jharkhand, where 48% of the children are underweight. As for stunted children, Bihar tops the list with 48% while the country’s average is 38%. Accordin to the World Health Organization’s definition, stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience because of poor nutrition, repeated infection and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. The data also showed that 21% of the children in Bihar are categorised as ‘wasted’. Wasting, or BIHAR 43.9 20.8 JHARKHAND 47.8 29 UTTAR PRADESH MADHYA PRADESH 39.5 17.9 42.8 CHHATTISGARH 37.7 23.1 COUNTRY 35.7 21 Underweight Wasted 48.3 42 37.6 38.4 Stunted (Figures in per cent) Source: NFHS IV, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare low weight for height, is a strong predictor of mortality among children under the age of five. It is usually the result of acute food shortage and/or disease. There are 24 developing countries with wasting rates of 10% or more, showing a serious problem that requires urgent response. While the government has undertaken various programmes to tackle malnutrition, the data show there is not much improvement. CONTINUED ON: P9 Inter-state buses to go off road from tomorrow INTER-STATE luxury buses will remain off the road from Monday as the Inter-state Bus Owners Association-Kerala has called an indefinite strike in protest against the alleged harassment by the Motor Vehicles Department in the w a ke o f t h e K a l l a d a b u s incidents. As many as 293 inter-state buses and around 90 intra-state buses will stop services as part of the protest. The inter-state buses plying between Kerala and major cities in the south cater to around 8,000 passengers daily The strike is . expected to affect techies working in metros like Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, who visit their native places during weekends as train services and Passengers who had booked tickets in advance will be refunded. Tickets will not be available online once the strike starts. Bus operators from outside the state who operate services to Kerala will also participate in the strike — Manoj Padikkal, president, Inter-state Bus Owners Association-Kerala The skipper showed there were no demons on the wicket. His S/R of 106.34 was symbolic of how he handled the bowlers. 45.3 46.2 25.8 Phones seized from TP murder case convicts EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @Thrissur IN a surprise raid at the Viyyur Central Prison and Correctional Home on Saturday, mobile phones were seized from T P Chandrasekharan murder case convicts Muhammed Shafi and Kodi Suni. City Police Commissioner Yathish Chandra G H conducted the raid, in which two smartphones were seized from Shafi and one from Kodi Sunni. Four SIM cards were also seized from Shafi. Mobile phones had been seized from Shafi in 2014 and 2017 also. During the raid, 13 packets of ganja, power bank, headset, knife, scissors, beedi and charger were also seized. Based on the raid, the Viyyur police will register cases against the accused. In a similar raid at the Kannur Central Jail, DGP Rishiraj Singh and his team seized mobile phones, SIM cards, batteries, iron rods, ganja, cash and tobacco from the ● More on P6 prisoners. EXPRESS READ Kohli stands firm HALL OF SHAME PASSENGERS LEFT IN LURCH E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi FRESH clashes broke out in Bhatpara in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Saturday soon after a delegation of BJP leaders, which visited the area, said police firing was responsible for the death of two people on Thursday Meanwhile, BJP worker Nazibur Ka. rim, who was allegedly attacked by Trinamool activists in Amdanga in the same district on Friday evening, succumbed to his injuries on Saturday . The three-member BJP team, led by former Union minister and MP from Bengal S S Ahluwalia, landed in Kolkata on Saturday morning and went to Bhatpara, around 30 km from the state capital. The delegation, which also comprised former police officers Satya Pal Singh and V D Ram—MPs from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand respectively—met the family members of those killed on Thursday and alleged that the bullets were fired from weapons like Insas and AK-47. “The police is saying they fired in the air. If they had We got portions of done that, how can it hit people?” spent self-loading Ahluwalia said. rifle bullets used Just after the BJP team left the by police to shoot area, several were injured as clashes BJP workers on again erupted between Trinamool Thursday. The and BJP workers. Earlier in the day, police are saying a joint CPM-Congress team also vis- they fired in the ited Bhatpara and echoed the BJP’s air. If they had done that, how earlier demand for a CBI probe into can it hit people Thursday’s deaths. The TMC S S Ahluwalia, head blamed the BJP for the unrest. In Amdanga, BJP worker Nazi- of BJP team to WB bur’s father alleged that local Trinamool activists had been threatening his son and him after they had joined the party before the Lok Sabha polls. Arjun Singh, the BJP MP from Barrackpore, met Nazibur’s family and said, “He was BJP’s booth agents in the elections. Nazibur was murdered only because he joined our party Police, however, claimed the at.” tack was not politically motivated. Both the areas in Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district come under Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency . Violence has plagued the former Trinamool citadel ever since Arjun, a former Trinamool MLA, crossed over to the BJP before the polls and was elected to the Lok Sabha from the seat. KSRTC bus services are unable to handle the traffic owing to inadequate services. “Ever since the Kallada incident, the Motor Vehicles Department has been troubling bus operators. The de par tment is harassing them under the guise of Operation Night Riders - launched to keep a tab on inter-state buses,” said association president Manoj ● More on P6 Padikkal. Virat Kohli struck a third consecutive half-century | AFP INDIA FIGHT BACK AFTER AFGHAN SCARE Mohammad Shami held his nerve to take India home in a nailbiter against Afghanistan. Here are the talking points... Spinners get going Shami magic at the death Defending 16 in the last over, the pacer conceded a boundary off the first ball but recalibrated his length to bag the first hat-trick of this WC to take India home by 11 runs. He returned with figures of 4/40. The troika of Mujeeb Ur Rehman (1/26), Rashid Khan (1/38) and Mohammad Nabi (2/33), struck gold on a slow wicket. It was Mujeeb who set the ball rolling, removing Rohit. 2 Kane Williamson struck back to back tons to rescue the Kiwis against West Indies BRIEF SCORES TODAY’S FIXTURE vs PAKISTAN Star Sports 1 @ 3.00 pm SOUTH AFRICA The Lord’s India 224/8 in 50 ovs (Kohli 67, Jadhav 52, Naib 2/51, Nabi 2/33) bt Afghanistan 213 in 49.5 ovs (Nabi 52) New Zealand 291/8 in 50 ovs (Williamson 148 , Taylor 69, Cottrell 4/56) vs WI REPORTS: P14,15 Man found dead on neighbour’s terrace Kochi: A 48-year-old man was found dead on the terrace of his neighbour’s house in Kothamangalam on Saturday. Prasad, a resident of Mavudi, is the deceased. House owner Sajeevan has been taken into custody. P3 Hashish oil worth F20 crore seized T’Puram: A special Excise squad seized 20 kg of hashish oil worth C20 crore, 2.5 kg of ganja and 240 gm of charas from a car at Vazhamuttom on Saturday. George Kutty, who is a history-sheeter, was arrested in connection with it. P5 DGCA asks airlines to avoid Iranian airspace New Delhi: India on Saturday decided not to fly over Iranian airspace in view of the heightened military activities in the region after Tehran shot down a $130-million US military drone over the Gulf of Oman. ALMANAC TODAY Sunday: 23-06-2019 Year: Hemalambin Malayalam Era: 1194 Month: Midhunam 8 Ashadha: 2 Nakshathra (Star): Chathayam Rahu Kalam: 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm Yamakantakam: Noon to 1.30 pm Gulikakalam: 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm 02 SUNDAY KOTTAYAM l Used to stop fish decaying Used in building materials and to produce household products, in pressed-wood products, glues and adhesives, paper product coatings, as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant. Also used as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. AMMONIA Health risks Sprayed on fish to make it look fresh and shiny Short term Formaldehyde exposure can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation. Health risks Ammonia levels in the air at 5 ppm can be recognised by odour. An average person detects ammonia by odour at around 17 ppm. T chemicals on the fish stock to avoid decaying. We have urged the state government to initiate stringent action against people who involve in such unhealthy practices. The fish is being brought in large quantities in trucks and trains in view of the acute scarcity of fish in Kerala market,” said National Fish Workers Forum general secretary T Peter. According to fishermen, though the seizure of fish laced with chemicals has been negligible this season, the fish brought from other states are not safe. “The fish loads arrive at the markets during night hours and it will be packed and despatched to various centres by 5 am. The officers usually conduct raids after 10 am and by the time the fish would have reached the customers. They have to conduct the search during night hours. Now the dealers are mixing formalin in the ice. This needs to be stopped as it will cause serious health issues. There is a need to improve the monitoring system at railway stations and interstate checkposts,” said Peter. Though the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) had introduced a Rapid Detection kit to identify fish laced with formalin, the technology is yet to become popular. CIFT had transferred the technology to High Media Labs, a Mumbai-based firm to manufacture and market the kit. According to Abraham P Varghese, owner of Scientific Equipment and Chemicals Co, who is the distributor of the kit, only 150 kits have been sold in Kerala market yet. “The kit has a shelf life of only 3 months and I have suffered huge loss by stocking it in bulk. The Fisheries Department and Food Safety Department have purchased some kits. The response from the public is poor. Two days ago I had sent 80 kits to Goa. There is need to create awareness among the public about the health risk caused by the adulteration of fish and the simple method to ensure the quality of fish in the market,” he said. Refuting allegations of fish adulteration, Jayan, a fish vendor at Chambakkara in Kochi, said the fish he received from other states are fresh. “We receive fish from Tamil Nadu which is not adulterated. The Food Safety Department had checked the samples from here and ensured that it was fresh,” he said. At a time when the Western countries insist on a sea-to-palate data chain which enables to track the fish from ocean right to local shops to avoid dishonest practices, more steps are needed to ensure the quality of fish brought to the market. Benzoate is a white solid that is slightly soluble in water. Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are used as food preservatives and are most suitable for foods, fruit juices, and soft drinks that are naturally in an acidic PH range. Sodium benzoate is a permitted additive used in processed fish and fishery products to inhibit the growth of mould, yeast and many bacteria. In humans, the acute toxicity of benzoic acid and sodium benzoate is low. However, both substances are known to cause nonimmunological contact reactions. Used to stop the appearance of black spots in shrimp Contact can irritate skin eyes Breathing can irritate nose, throat and lungs causing coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath Can cause asthma-like allergy RAPID DETECTION KIT TO FIND FISH ADULTERATION Paper Strip methods for rapid detection of formaldehyde and ammonia in fish Time for detection: 3 minutes Two kits to detect the presence of formalin and ammonia The teams have seized rotting fish and fish laced with chemicals. But compared to the previous year, there has been a decline in the number of cases The trawl ban period has created an acute shortage of fish in Kerala and fish from other states is flooding the market causing concern about health risks as some traders allegedly use toxic preservatives to prevent decaying. Learning from last year’s experience, when 22,000 kg of chemical laced fish was seized, the Food Safety Dept has launched a massive hunt for fish laden with toxic preservatives he soul-stirring spicy fish delicacies ignite nostalgic feelings among Keralites. And having the combination of the tapioca mash and greasy fish curry is a tonguetickling favourite among seafood lovers of the state. But beware. With the annual trawl ban season in place, there has been a spike in complaints about fish laced with chemicals flooding the market. Though the Fisheries Department and the Food Safety Department have been conducting regular raids at markets and scanning the fish brought in trucks from other states, complaints are pouring in causing concern among the food connoisseurs. According to the Fisheries Department, the task force formed by Food Safety Department as part of ‘Operation Sagar Rani, a drive to stop fish adulteration, has conducted around 40 surprise checks at fish markets, harbours and check posts. Apart from conducting spot checks using the Rapid Detection kits launched by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), the task force collects samples and send them to regional laboratories for detailed analysis. “The teams have seized rotting fish and fish laced with chemicals. But compared to the previous year, there has been a decline in the number of cases,” said Food Safety Joint Commissioner A K Mini. “We have conducted around 1,600 surprise checks at various markets apart from the inspection of fish brought from other states at the check posts. The checks are conducted in coordination with the Food Safety Department. We collected 966 surveillance samples and 28 statutory samples of fish and ice which have been sent to the labs for analysis. As many as 7 samples were found to be of low quality while eight samples were found to be unsafe for health. We have registered 7 adjudication cases and 8 prosecution cases based on the test results,” said Fisheries Department Deputy Director S Santhosh Kumar. According to fisheries experts, some interstate fish traders have been following unhealthy trade practices like using chemicals like formalin, ammonia, silver hydrogen peroxide, sodium benzoate and sodium meta bisulphate to stop decaying, to make the fish look fresh and shiny and to check fungal infection. “The real fishermen will not follow such unhealthy practices as they consider it as a sin. It is the traders who bring fish from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka who smear Sunrise 06.11 Sunset 18.50 Moonrise 22.53 Moonset 10.07 SODIUM METABISULFITE Preservative Continuous ingestion of ammonia can lead to health issues like damage to mucous membrane of mouth, throat, oesophagus, and stomach. Ammonia readily dissolves in water and forms ammonium hydroxide, which, if ingested can result in corrosive damage to mouth, throat and stomach. A naturally occurring chemical in the atmosphere, as well as synthetically made chemical. It is a colourless, pungentsmelling gas and is lighter than air. Prolonged exposure can cause cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. BENZOATE THE KILLER BAIT M A N O J V I S W A N AT H A N @Kochi MAX FORECAST Showery, mostly cloudy l A LOOK AT THE VARIOUS CHEMICALS USED TO PRESERVE FISH. WHILE SOME OF THE CHEMICALS ARE USED TO STOP FISH FROM DECAYING, SOME ARE SPRAYED TO MAKE THEM LOOK FRESH AND SHINY. MOST OF THE CHEMICALS USED ARE HARMFUL TO HEALTH THROUGH THEIR PROLONGED EXPOSURE FORMALDEHYDE A colourless, flammable, strongsmelling chemical, well known for its preservative and anti-bacterial effects. MIN 260C 280C WEATHER WATCH 23 06 2019 CHEMICALS USED FOR FISH ADULTERATION Food Safety Joint Commissioner A K Mini Each kit will have 22 testing strips along with reagent solution and colour chart to assess the extent of contamination Step 1: Scrape the strip on the surface of the fish II: Add one or two drops of reagent solution to the strip III: Watch the colour change and compare it with the attached colour chart IV: If the strip turns light pink, the fish is free of formalin. If the strip turns green and further becomes deep blue the level of formalin is 20-100 mg per kg Silver hydrogen peroxide: A disinfectant Sprayed on fish to prevent decaying Can cause a burning sensation if ingested undissolved. A law to empower fishers & prevent adulteration U N N I K R I S H N A N S @T’Puram T HE government is mulling policy change to ensure the quality of fish reaching the market through the Kerala Fish Auctioning, Marketing and Quality Control Bill. The Bill seeks to regulate the sale and auction of fish, besides ensuring its hygiene and quality It also has strin. gent provisions to deal with fish adulteration. The Bill will enable fishermen to fix the price for their catch. The Fisheries Department believes it is the fishermen’s lack of say in the auctioning process which allows profiteering by middlemen. “The focus on making a quick buck is one of the major reasons for entry of fish laced with toxins reaching the markets,” said an officer with the Fisheries Department. The Cabinet has given its nod to the bill and it is likely to be tabled in the ongoing Assembly session. Once it is signed into law, it will help eliminate middlemen from the auctioning process, said Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma. Apart from framing laws to manage the fish market, the department plans to infuse fresh capital in Fishermen Development Welfare Cooperative Societies. In the absence of a proper funding mechanism, fishermen depend a lot on fish auctioning and marketing. The department envisages the societies’ increased involvement in fish auctioning. Through auctioneers appointed by cooperative societies, the fishermen can expect a fair deal, the minister said. During the auction a five per cent margin is expected. Of this, the auctioneer, Matsyafed and cooperative society each will get one per cent. The fishermen will get the remaining two per cent. The minister said Matsyafed plans to give more interest-free loans as a measure to strengthen the community . Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development (Matsyafed) manages 232 Fishermen Development Welfare Cooperative Societies involving 43,330 fishermen in the state. There is acute shortage of fish in the state owing into trawling Matsyafed ropes fishermen to supply fresh to consumers ban and fish fromfishother states A is flooding the market, causing concern about health risks. P2 CIFT RAPID DETECTION KIT IS AVAILABLE IN MARKET Price I250 for kit Distributor: Scientific Equipment and Chemical Co, Ernakulam Contact: 9846223454 AMIT BANDRE In case of ammonia: If the colour turns deep blue, the level of ammonia in the fish is more than 300 mg per kg. If the strip turns light blue preceded by light green, the level of ammonia is below 100 mg and the fish is safe for consumption. SAGAR RANI SURPRISE CHECKS AT FISH MARKETS UNNIKRISHNAN S @T’Puram mid the mounting public concern over the market proliferation of fish laced with toxic chemicals, Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd (Matsyafed) has roped in local fishermen to procure fresh fish which will be sold via its outlets. Matsyafed claims to have 20 lakh customers yearly who buy fish from its 35-odd outlets statewide. “We have high market demand. Each outlet sells around 300 kg of fish daily said Lawrence Harold, .” Matsyafed managing director. Matsyafed has developed an application through which 30 fishermen welfare cooperative societies and local fishermen supply fish. The inland fishermen societies supply locally available fish such as pearl spot and prawns. Accord- ing to the Matsyafed managing director, this has ensured a decent profit for the fishermen. Besides, mobile marts selling fresh fish have been launched by Matsyafed. The inaugural one, which started functioning in Thiruvananthapuram in 2017, was a runaway hit. It has launched two mobile marts in Kollam, with another one in Thiruvananthapuram in the offing. Matsyafed mobile marts with their distinct white and aqua blue design halts at various points and uniformed employees sell the day’s catch. The day’s catch from the sea is collected from fishermen in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Alappuzha landing centres around 10 am. The mobile fish marts carry it to the city by noon. They sell at least 10 varieties of fish, including popular ones like sardine, mackerel, tuna, seer fish, pomfret etc. Fish is sold in whole and as cut packets. Matsyafed plans to increase the number of outlets to 55 soon and service faraway locations. “We have identified 20 locations for starting new outlets. Most of them are located around the MC Road.” said Harold. It also runs a Kochi-based export unit which adheres to European Union’s quality standards. With a yearly turnover of ‘50 crore and selling close to 3,000 tonnes of fish, the presence of Matsyafed is significant if not huge. The annual per capita consumption of fish in Kerala is around 18.5 kg which is very high compared to the national average of 5 kg. A study on fish trade by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said the state will need 50 per cent of fish from other states to meet the demand in 2035. ‘Operation Sagar Rani’ is a task force formed by the Food Safety Department to stop fish adulteration 1,600 surprise checks conducted at markets Trucks carrying fish being inspected at checkposts 966 surveillance samples of fish and ice collected and sent to labs 28 statutory samples collected and sent to labs 7 samples found of low quality 8 samples found unsafe for health 7 adjudication cases booked 8 prosecution cases booked FRESH FISH SOLD HERE Fish lovers in Kozhikode have a choice during ban, thanks to traditional fishers P O O J A N A I R @Kozhikode M ASSIVE influx of unscientifically frozen or adulterated fish is equally prevalent in Kozhikode as it is in other parts of the state. Luckily all the contaminated fish , do not end up in the dining tables here. The discerning buyer of Kozhikode has the choice to opt for abundant fresh fish, thanks to a rich haul during the trawling ban period by traditional fishermen using country-made boats. District Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Assistant Commissioner P Aleyamma said, “The results of recent samples collected from the Central and Nadakkavu markets have shown no adulteration or other chemicals used. Last year, several loads of formalin-laced fish were brought to the district from other states and we had taken strict against the people involved in this illegal practice. Besides, the availability of fish in the market is better compared to the previous period, as the country boats are getting a good catch.” At the same time, frozen fish has been found in large quantities in these markets, she said. “Also, complaints about the frozen fish sold in packets without any labels have been received. we will be tracking down these companies which sell frozen fish Fish at Puthiyappa in Kozhikode | Express without any labels, as this is an illegal practice. We have also decided to continue inspections at the harbours and fish markets till the trawling ban concludes.” Rajan N P, a fisherman at the Puthiyappa harbour, said, “Unlike previous years, the catch during the trawling ban for country boats has been great this year. But it has come to our notice that a few fishermen transfer the local catch to dealers of other states, thereby reducing the availability here. We (the other fishermen) have decided to act tough on these practices as it is our duty to ensure the availability here before giving them to other states,” he added. Swarna Unnikrishnan, a resident near Kunduparamba here, said, “Recently we happened to buy seer fish from the central market, which has made us decide to never include big fish in our diet.”
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