Kolkata: Bengal government is taking initiatives to increase fish production in the drought prone areas of the state by preserving rain water. This will assist the local fishermen to increase the production of fishes.In a bid to boost pisciculture, the state fisheries department will set up more watersheds in the drought prone districts like Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum, West Midnapore and some other districts, where considerable amount of rain water is wasted. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the experts, if rain water is harnessed by small dams, it can be used for pisciculture, cultivation and also domestic purposes during the lean season. The department is taking up comprehensive development schemes to enhance fishery infrastructure in the drought prone areas to improve the overall socio-economic condition of fishermen in the region. A watershed is defined as the land that contributes water to a given site. It is a line that connects all the highest points in the area. A watershed provides a natural environmental unit for planning a developmental initiative. The watershed mapping in the districts of Purulia and Bankura has been done to delineate watershed boundaries and suggest the suitable sites for check dams for water harvesting. A digital map of water bodies was already created by the Fisheries department. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThe GIS based map of water bodies will help in managing e-governance in the fishery sector. Web based availability of GIS maps will improve decision making process in a decentralised set up, thereby creating a scenario of efficient management.Moreover, water stored in check dams also helps in reaching the ground water through bottom percolation in the subsurface. Watershed development thus plays an important role in uplifting the rural economy, increasing fish production, agricultural production, afforestation, water, soil and land management in the drought prone areas. Co-operative farming is also given paramount importance to strengthen co-operative fish farming. The schemes will engage unemployed rural youth that will uplift the rural economy. The department has chalked out a detailed plan to make West Bengal self sufficient in fish production and to increase export.The state fisheries department is also keen on the implementation of the People Participatory Programme (PPP) method for the sustainable development of fisheries. The purpose of PPP is to develop an operational method to increase participation of local fishermen in fish production, storage and distribution.This will also prove handy for the fisher folk to organise self-help groups and co-operatives which in turn will increase their income. They will be given access to the existing fishing ponds and fishery infrastructure.