Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The State government is taking steps on war-footing to improve the fisheries sector and provide infrastructure facilities, said Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

He was speaking after inaugurating the construction work of a mini-fishing harbour at Chellanam, near here, on Monday.

Even before completing two years, this government had brought in three laws for the welfare of the fisheries sector, he said. Along with developing fishing harbours, steps have been initiated for improving condition of other small and large harbours in the State.

The Thankassery Harbour in Kollam has been commissioned after renovation. The Azheekkal Harbour in Kannur has been included in the National Maritime project. Also, construction of around six fishing harbours is in progress, he said.

The Chief Minister said steps were being taken to improve water transport. Travelling across the State through waterways would become a reality in three or four years. The Kollam-Kottappuram waterway, which was declared the national waterway, has been commissioned and work on the Kollam-Kovalam waterway is progressing, he said.

Minister for Fisheries S. Sarma presided. Sebastian Paul, MP; C.M. Dinesh Mani, MLA; and representatives of political parties and fishermen organisations; spoke.

The mini-fishing harbour at Kandekadu fishing gap was a long pending demand of fisherfolk from West Kochi and northern Alappuzha.