Delay in dredging along Mangalore Old Port has caused sand to pile up

With the government not dredging along the Mangalore Old Port for a number of years, it has become perilous for fishermen to traverse Alive Bagilu (river mouth), said Mangalore South MLA J.R. Lobo in his appeal to Minister for Textiles and Ports Baburao Chinchansur here on Tuesday.

Addressing the Minister at the conclusion of a ‘Samudra Puja’ (offering worship to ocean) conducted at Tannirbavi beach, Mr. Lobo said the sand that had piled up at the river mouth was the prime reason for the capsizing of a boat recently.

“The ministry needs to provide dredgers and remove the sand between Alive Bagilu and Sultan Battery along Gurupura River,” he said.

Responding to this, Mr. Chinchansur directed the Port officer, during a meeting with officials held later, to purchase five dredging machines to ensure the continuous removal of sand throughout the year.

Elaborating on his Mogaveera roots, the Minister said the government would concentrate on providing basic amenities to fishermen. “I have already commenced talks with Union Ministers Oscar Fernandes and M. Veerappa Moily to establish a State Maritime Board at the earliest,” he told presspersons.

On upcoming projects, he said the state government was mulling over a proposal to build a Rs. 500 crore ‘captive port’ at Karwar.

Expedite projects

Meanwhile, at the meeting with port officials, the Minister directed them to expedite the construction of temporary sea walls and the permanent sea wall project, under the Asian Development Bank.

At the meeting he was assured by engineers that the first stage of the Rs. 911-crore project, to be undertaken at Ullal would be completed by the end of 2014. Out of the Rs. 223.32 crore worth of works in this stage, tenders for Rs. 25 crore had already been awarded, and these works would start next month.

Similarly, T.S. Rathod, Executive Engineer, the Department of Ports, Udupi, told the minister that the Rs. 57.6-crore III Phase construction at Mangalore Old Port would be completed by October, 2015.

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