KTFA holds Protest, Demands All Weather Fishing Harbor
Mangaluru: The Karavali Traditional Fishermen’s Association (KTFA) staged a symbolic protest in front of the DC office here, on July 7.
Addressing the protesters, Convenor of Meenugarara Horata Samiti (MHS) Ramachandra Baikampady said, “Coastal traditional fishermen have lost everything during the construction of the New Mangalore port. In 1965, Indira Gandhi had assured to build a harbour for traditional fishermen in Panambur but even after 50 years of our fight, the assurance as not been honoured. In 1996, the Vajpayee government had sanctioned Rs 44 crore to construct an all weather fishing harbour at Kulai. The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) spent Rs 40 lakh and surveyed the area in Kulai-Hosabettu, assuring the fishermen that they would build the all-weather fishing harbour. But from the past 20 years, our request has not been considered.”
He further said that in 2014, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel met the union agriculture minister and inaugurated the all season port construction work. The state government then informed the union government that they do not have enough funds to sanction the construction work of the harbour and provided 11.5 acres of land. When the traditional fishermen protested, a total amount of Rs 230 crore was sanctioned for the project out of which Rs 70 crore had to be sanctioned by NMPT and another Rs 70 crore sanctioned under the union agriculture scheme ‘Sagarmala project’.
Ramachandra also said that the state government should provide a clearance certificate from the CRZ, but it did not send any clearance report to the union government which led to the delay in the construction of the harbour. He also recalled the pipeline installed by the SEZ in the sea in 2012, which caused problems for the fishermen. In this regard, a compensation of Rs 1 crore had been sanctioned by the SEZ but so far the fishermen did not get the amount. The protesters demanded the construction of the all-weather fishing harbour in Kulai.