Separate Berth for Lakshadweep Ships – MLA Lobo
Mangaluru: MLA J R Lobo speaking at a press meet held at the district congress office, here on October 12 said, “If we got Mangaluru city in the smart city list, the reason is the Old port and fisheries but the old port has not been developed. On September 15, we have opened the port but till date, none of the ships have anchored at the port. Thousands of people depend on the old port for their livelihood. Since the ships cannot enter the old port due to low water level many of the people are facing problems. Nowadays there is very less business in the old port, the main reason being the depth of the water. At this time there should be at least 4 meters of water at the estuary but we have only half that level. If we will not act now, the old port being an iconic port of Mangaluru will have to be closed down. We already sanctioned Rs 1 crore to keep the port operating”.
He further said that last month there was an incident at the estuary in which one person died and six others were rescued by the locals. Earlier another boat had capsized. We do not have facilities for rescue operations when there is an accident. There are not proper coast guard facilities and we need to bring the helicopter from Goa in emergency cases. We need emergency rescue operations here. “I have written a letter to the DC to call for a meeting with Coastguards, fisheries, Navy and the police department to involve them in rescue operations whenever necessary. The DC has assured to call for a meeting”.
Lobo said, “The third phase of development work of the old port is going on but due to delay in funds from the union government the work has slowed down. The state government has spent Rs 55 Crore but without funds from the union government, the work has been delayed. At present we need to get Rs 35 Crore from the union government, as soon as we receive the funds, we will be able to complete the work. To construct a bridge and the road to the port we need Rs 2.5 crore for which we have already submitted a memorandum to the state government. If the state government sanctions the funds, we can construct the road and bridge to the port”.
Lobo also said, “Along with the development of the old port we have plans to construct a separate berth for Lakshadweep ships and Rs 70 crore has been sanctioned for the same. I will take a delegation of ministers and government officials to Lakshadweep and meet the authorities before implementing the project. The old port has a very long history, since the year 1700, people were travelling by ships to Mauritius and other gulf countries. People used to go to Mauritius to work in Sugarcane fields. Even during the British rule, the old port was very famous. To retain the history of the old port we need to develop it. We also need to fill the shortage of staff in the old port and see that the ships coming to the old port do not face any problems. Some land belonging to the old port was given on lease and the lease contract has expired. During the smart city plan, we will utilize such land for development purpose. We will give priority to the old port in the smart city project”.
Under the National fisheries development board (NFDB) we will develop the fresh fish auction yard, dry fish wholesale market and also the State Bank market.