We have to prepare some more studies and only after consultations with stakeholders the decision will be implemented, says Deputy Chairman Satya Kumar.

The talk of shifting the fishing harbour from the city to Moolakuddu near Bhimili, if found technically and economically viable, will materialise only after four or five years.

The issue had attracted strong condemnation from boat and trawler owners, who had threatened to go on lightning strike and block the entrance channel to the port in protest.

When contacted, Deputy Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port G.V.L. Satya Kumar told The Hindu on Sunday that though the proposal was under consideration for a long time, it would not materialise immediately.

“We have to prepare some more studies and only after consultations with the stakeholders the decision will be implemented,” he said.

The proposal was taken up for consideration by the port authorities a decade ago due to serious objections raised by the Navy.

The fishing harbour is located near the channel through which warships make an entry, and the outer harbour has become highly congested.

Who will foot the bill?

Several studies have been conducted and the question of bearing the expenditure of shifting and construction of new fishing jetty near the satellite port proposed by the port at Moolakuddu has remained a big question mark. The satellite port and the fishing harbour is expected to cost around Rs.2,000 crore. The port has 172 acres with huge waterfront area.

Bangalore-based Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery stated on April 28, 1999, that “it will not be technically feasible and economically viable to develop a fishing harbour at Bhimili.”

The Deputy Commissioner (Fishing Harbour) in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, stated on May 17, 2010, that the Ministry was not in favour of shifting from the present location.

Association of Indian Fishery Industries president Y.G.K. Murti said during their last meeting with top officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, that they were told that the fishing harbour was built with their funds and unless they issued a ‘no objection certificate’ to the Ministry of Shipping, it could not be relocated.

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