Dredging by the Mumbai firm has not cleared silt

The Department of Ports has been urged to serve a final notice to a Mumbai-based firm to terminate dredging between the barmouth and the fishing harbour as the work was unsatisfactory.

Mangalore City South MLA J.R. Lobo asked the Department to act in this regard during his visit to the fishing harbour on Thursday. Fishermen told the MLA that the firm, which has been operating since November, has not been doing the work as required.

Mohan Bengre, a member of Purse Seine Meenugarara Sangha, said the firm was using hooper grab dredger for removing silt (between barmouth and fishing harbour) and depositing it only a few metres away in Bengre. They are supposed to use a dredger that can throw silt eight nautical miles away, he said. Dredging by the Mumbai-based firm since November has not cleared silt as required and failed to make movement across the barmouth safer for fishing boats. He pointed out to the MLA that a boat capsized near the barmouth a week ago in which five fishermen were going.

To this, Assistant Executive Engineer (Ports) A.S. Rao said the department had issued a notice on March 14 expressing unhappiness over the work of Mumbai-based Sea Eagle Dredger Marine Infrastructure, which was carrying out the work. Mr. Rao said the firm would be held responsible for any mishaps near the barmouth in the fishing season that starts from August. The firm was not using cutter section dredger that was necessary for the dredging operation.

Expressing his displeasure over the work, Mr. Lobo asked Mr. Rao to issue a final notice to the Mumbai firm for the termination of its services taken as a cost of Rs. 5 crore. Mr. Rao was asked to take steps necessary for constant removal of silt between barmouth and fishing harbour. “I will also follow up with the Ports Minister and Principal Secretary,” he said.

Mr. Lobo went with fishermen to check the progress of the third phase of the work of extension of the harbour.

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