Hamdulla Sayeed says wharf will make it easier to carry cargo to the islands

The Lakshadweep administration has mooted a proposal to build a “dedicated wharf” for the cluster of islands in Mangalore, said Hamdulla Sayeed, Member of Parliament, Lakshadweep.

Mr. Sayeed was speaking to presspersons following a meeting with the port conservator and port officials in Bunder (old port) of Mangalore to address the issues of Lakshadweep related to Mangalore on Thursday.

He said that the wharf would facilitate easier loading and unloading of cargo to and from Lakshadweep and simpler travel of passengers from Mangalore to Lakshadweep.

The wharf, aimed at addressing the cargo and passenger requirements of Lakshadweep, was estimated to cost Rs. 44.5 crore. However, he said the Karnataka government and the Lakshdweep administration had to reach an understanding as far as the cost was concerned.

The administration had proposed to build a “Lakshadweep Complex” over an area of 2.5 acres of land in Hoige Bazar in Mangalore.

To be built at a cost of Rs. 30 crore, it would include a hostel for people from the island who worked in Mangalore, for those who worked in warehouses and for employees of Lakshadweep administration, he said.

“The first priority is the concern of transport of local passengers and cargo and then tourism,” he said.

Speaking about the procedure followed for the entry of non-islanders to Lakshadweep, he said the procedure was the “protection given by the Government of India to protect the identity of the islanders.” The island was socially and economically different, was very remote and its people were recognised as Scheduled Tribe by the Constitution, he said.

Sand problem

Mr. Sayeed said the draft order had been issued on the lifting of the ban on the transfer of river sand to Lakshadweep from Mangalore. “I am looking forward to witnessing the passing of the final order soon”, he said. The people of Lakshadweep depended on river sand sent from Mangalore for building houses.

There was no other way but to use the sand from Mangalore and they would face a lot of hardship if the supply of sand was stopped.

“River sand problem existed …I met Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other officials of the Planning Commission and requested that the ban on river sand be lifted and to resume the supply of sand to the island,” he said.

Cement

He said cement from Andhra Pradesh meant for the island could be stored in Mangalore.

This would benefit the people of Lakshadweep. Lakshadweep had a long and ancient “sentimental” relationship with Mangalore. “Our elders and ancestors brought cargoes of rice, wheat, sugar, petroleum, and other essential commodities from Mangalore.”