Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the State government was committed to adopting special welfare policies to improve the standard of living of fishermen in Kerala.
Opening the newly completed facilities such as two finger jetties and locker rooms at Puthiyappa harbour in Kozhikode city, Mr. Vijayan said the government was keen on addressing welfare issues of fishers and upgrading facilities at small harbours.
“It was in 1982 that the Puthiyappa harbour was commissioned to facilitate the operation of 250 fishing boats. The latest renovation and additions were done considering the improved requirements in the area,” said Mr. Vijayan. According to him, the new finger jetties constructed at a cost of ₹11 crore under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana with 40% State government contribution were meant for offering a better ground for fishing boat operations.
Mr. Vijayan also pointed out that the completion of a secure compound wall and the construction of 27 locker rooms were the other two major achievements for which ₹2.15 crore, sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, was spent. “There is a good approach road now for the movement of vehicles. All these new facilities are sure to help about 4,000 fishermen and allied workers associated with the harbour,” he added.
While listing out the special projects that had brought in commendable changes and facility upgrade in fishing harbours across the State, Mr. Vijayan said the Left Democratic Front-led government managed to execute the renovation of 154 coastal roads in the State in its second term alone. “During the first tenure, the renovation work of 1,325 roads was completed on time. Work is still progressing in many locations,” he said.
Fisheries department officials said it was for the first time that two such spacious finger jetties designed like piers were being realised in the State with an aim to facilitate the safe and convenient anchoring of fishing boats. The overcrowded space at the Puthiyappa harbour was creating hurdles for fishing boat operators who had been waiting for a scientific solution for several years.
Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran delivered the keynote address at the inaugural event. Mayor Beena Philip, Fisheries Director Adeela Abdulla and people’s representatives were present at the venue.