Special Correspondent

Only those portfolios held by him given to K. Parthasarathy

VIJAYAWADA: Though all the three ministers from Krishna district in the previous government held more important portfolios, only those held by Mandali Buddha Prasad have been passed on to K. Parthasarathy, the new incumbent from the district in the State Cabinet.

While there is some progress in the establishment of Krishna University in Machilipatnam and buildings for the super-specialty veterinary hospital in Vijayawada, there is little or no progress in the establishment of the first-ever fisheries polytechnic in Mr. Buddha Prasad’s native village, Bhavadevarapalli, in Avanigadda Assembly constituency.

Though the scheme for the distribution of thorough-bred milch cattle from Haryana to beneficiaries was always in the eye of a controversy, the spate of programmes taken up by Mr. Buddha Prasad has garnered much goodwill for him and the Department of Fisheries.

Various welfare schemes have been extended to 28,000 fishermen under the Chief Minister’s Welfare Scheme for Fishermen, for which the State government allocated a record Rs. 42 crores.

Ex gratia

The State government increased the ex gratia for fishermen to Rs. 1 lakh in addition to Rs. 50,000 life insurance they are entitled for. Each family was given 40 kg of rice a month, free for the period during which fishing is banned as per international conventions.

There was no increase in the lease rental for 7,000 fresh water tanks in which fishermen societies were doing aquaculture. Over 3,000 ‘Matsya Mitra’ self-help groups were formed and Rs. 5 crores given to them through loan linkage.

Registration of all the 25,678 fishing vessels and 11,000 aqua farms was another major programme the department could complete during his period.