Offshore breakwater work likely from Sept.


KIIFB to discuss DPR in next meeting, says Minister

Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma has said that the construction of the proposed offshore breakwaters along the vulnerable coastal areas in the district is likely to get under way in September. The areas of Poonthura, Valiathura, and Shanghumughom have been identified to pilot the project in the State.

While replying to questions in the Assembly on Tuesday, the Minister said the Fisheries Department had finalised the detailed project report (DPR) which will be discussed by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) at its next meeting. The offshore breakwater technology has been evolved over intensive discussions during the last two years, along with the technical assistance of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).

She expressed optimism that the offshore breakwaters would become a permanent solution for areas witnessing coastal erosion in the region for long. If found successful, the model would be replicated across the State, she said.

Jobs for dependants

To a question raised by V.S. Sivakumar, MLA, on whether the children of the fishermen who were killed in the Cyclone Ockhi could be provided government jobs, the Minister said the prevailing laws did not have provisions for the specific purpose. Mr. Sivakumar said that while around 150 fishermen were reported dead or missing, the government had provided temporary jobs for only a few dependants. He said many of the children in the affected families were postgraduates.

Ms. Mercykutty Amma said that while the Matsyafed had employed 42 women, the government considered providing higher grade jobs for another 11 women, who were aged less than 40 years and had studied up to pre-degree, in medical colleges or other public institutions. Many more would be employed in a proposed fish-processing unit that had been included in the Vizhinjam package.

She also told the Assembly that the Central government had not been providing its share for various welfare schemes in the sector for the last three years.

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Printable version | Jul 17, 2019 12:51:50 AM |

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