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Fishing hamlet gets solar fish drier

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HYGIENIC AND ECO-FRIENDLY: The new solar-powered fish-drying unit installed at Odaimanagar, a fishing hamlet in Besant Nagar. Photo: N. Sridharan
HYGIENIC AND ECO-FRIENDLY: The new solar-powered fish-drying unit installed at Odaimanagar, a fishing hamlet in Besant Nagar. Photo: N. Sridharan

P. Oppili

11.5 sq.m. unit can dry 70 kg at one go

  • Drier installed at Odaimanagar village
  • Drying, salt curing most commonly used fish preservation techniques
  • 6,000 kg of hygienically processed fish could be sold using the drier

    CHENNAI: The fishermen of Odaimanagar, Besant Nagar, have been given a new solar-powered fish drier.

    Donated by Germany Leprosy and TB Relief Association - India on Tuesday, the drier was installed at the Odaimanagar village.

    The six-columned drier, with a heating area of 11.5 square metres, was manufactured at a cost of Rs 1.71 lakh, said T.Jayaraj Devadas, Director of the Association.

    C. Palaniappan of Planters Energy Network, who designed and manufactured the drier, said drying and salt curing are the most commonly used fish preservation techniques. However, the quality of the dried fish was affected by the unhygienic way in which the fish was prepared and dried.

    Hygienic process

    When fish are dried in the open, it resulted in insects laying eggs inside the fish, which made the product unsuitable for human consumption. Added to that, the high humidity in the sea breeze prolonged the drying process, he said.

    The drier can dry nearly 70 kg of fish in one batch. The quantity varies according to the size of the fish, he said. Annually, around 6,000 kg of hygienically processed fish could be sold in the market using the drier, he said.

    As it is run with solar power, the recurring expense on electricity could be avoided and it could be set up in any open area, he added.

    The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency provided a subsidy of Rs 16,000, the organisers said, adding that the drier was a donation to the fishing hamlet as part of the tsunami livelihood rehabilitation project.

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