Kozhikode

Fishers unhappy over slow pace of dredging work at harbour

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They demand permanent mechanism to scoop out excess sand and silt

Fishermen at Koyilandy harbour are unhappy over the slow pace of dredging work to facilitate hassle-free movement of fishing boats in the area. They say the Harbour Engineering Department is yet to use high-power dredgers or labourers to fast-track the work. The State government has already spent ₹63 crore for improving facilities at the harbour such as a spacious parking area, auction hall and an entrance gate.

“During tidal fluctuations, fishing boats fitted with inboard and outboard engines cannot even anchor safely at the harbour or go to the sea. We have been facing this problem for several years. The unloading of daily catch has become a strenuous task now,” says T.P. Surendran, a fisherman. He also points out that fishers are forced to tow the boats during low tide from the harbour.

According to fishers, the development of approach channel and wharf front should be given top priority as it will directly help the easy operation of about 100 fishing boats. There should be a permanent mechanism to meet dredging requirements every year other than opting for temporary solutions, they say.

The leaders of local fishermen welfare associations also stress the need to have a permanent mechanism to meet the dredging needs of small harbours and scoop out the excess deposit of sand and silt.

The poor access to the harbour is forcing many boat operators to depend on facilities in other developed harbours, which double their financial burden and cause unwanted hurdles, they say.

Meanwhile, Koyilandy MLA K. Dasan says the pending developmental issues can be settled easily after the completion of renovation projects. “For dredging works, we are trying for a permanent solution with the support of the State government,” he said.

Officials from the Harbour Engineering Department say the State government is well aware of the dredging requirements of Koyilandy harbour as similar demands have already come up from other smaller harbours in the State.

The government is also planning to enter into an agreement with the Dredging Corporation of India to address such needs and avail its services for at least five years, they add.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 3:33:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/fishers-unhappy-over-slow-pace-of-dredging-work-at-harbour/article30058404.ece

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