Slated for completion in one year; to benefit 17 villages

The foundation stone for a fishing harbour at Poompuhar was laid by Chief Minister Jayalalitha via videoconferencing here on Wednesday.

It has set the stage for the Rs. 78.50-crore project bolstering fishing activity.

Spread over an area of over 12.96 hectares, it entails acquisition of patta lands, porampoks and gifted lands, and HR and CE lands.

The project envisages two breakwaters - northern side (up to 250 m) and southern side (up to 898 m). The harbour also envisages a wharfage, auction hall, net-building shed, gear lock shed, boat repair yard, rest shed, drying area and other basic amenities, including electrification, water supply, and toilet facilities.

The idea for a fishing harbour, a, long-pending demand of the fisher folk here, was first mooted in 1995, and was revived during the second tenure of the Chief Minister in 2001.

A detailed project report was prepared with a project estimate of Rs. 40 crore. The project was cleared after the Archaeological Survey of India gave its nod.

The harbour slated for completion in one year, would host around 350 mechanised boats and 350 country boats. It is expected to benefit the surrounding 17 villages with fishing as their mainstay.