The city unit of CPI (M) has strongly opposed the efforts by the Gangavaram Port to expand its capacity without constructing fish landing jetty at Yarada.

CPI (M) city secretary B. Ganga Rao, secretariat member R.K.S.V. Kumar, and city committee member G. Subba Rao told reporters on Wednesday that as part of resettlement and rehabilitation package, the jetty should have been ready before commercial operation of the port. As there was no jetty, the traditional fishermen of now demolished Dibbapalem were not able to venture into sea for their livelihood, they said.

Replying to questions, Mr. Ganga Rao said the argument of Gangavaram Port management that objections by Visakhapatnam Port Trust for encroaching into their jurisdiction had delayed the construction of the jetty was an excuse. “Originally all of us including experts had mooted the jetty at Nallamarammapatalu for the operational convenience of the fishermen but the proposal was rejected as it would involve more expenditure,” he said.

He alleged that the State Government and the Gangavaram management were colluding to muzzle the voice of the project affected people by hook and crook. There were attempts by the port management to divide the fishermen to have their say, he added.

‘Pollution risk'

Stating that the port was polluting the area due to handling of hazardous cargo, he said if consent was given for expansion, it would make living unfit for neighbouring areas in Pedagantyada and Gajuwaka mandals. He said the management was deliberately delaying jobs to the displaced fishermen by instigating some to approach the court.