Fishing Harbour Opening Brighten

The sincere efforts of the Secretary Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (DoF&ARD) Vishal Gagan has finally yielded result as the authorities in Paradip Port Trust (PPT) have floated tender for dredging of the Mahanadi river mouth to facilitate inland water transportation.

The work with a cost of Rs. 15 crore will be completed soon, said sources in PPT. 
It is worth mentioning here that the State Government kept raising this issue on several occasions with the Centre as the river mouth has got choked causing great difficulty for navigation.
Even as the fishing vessels require a minimum depth of 4 metres for smooth and safe navigation, the depth of the river mouth has become less than 1 metre.
The State Government kept urging the Union Government for dredging to reduce accidents and casualties.
Sources in know of the development said that keeping in view the interest of the large number of fishermen dependent on the fishing harbour, the present Secretary F&ARD Vishal Gagan relentlessly pursued and kept insisting on the Union Ministry of Shipping to take up the matter as early as possible. 
Even as initially the PPT authorities were reluctant to take up the responsibility of dredging maintaining that the said harbor now is under the administrative control of the State government, Mr.Gagan kept pursuing the officials in the Ministry of Shipping and finally got it approved, said sources. 
It may be pointed out that the harbor which completed in 1996 was handed over to the State government by PPT in 2011. PPT which was looking after the management and maintenance work of this fishing harbor till 2011 had taken up the dredging of the navigational channel way back in 1997-98 FY. 
The Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery (CICEF), Bangalore which undertook a survey had pointed out that because of the beach nourishment work taken up by PPT for protection of the sea wall and lack of maintenance dredging, the siltation at the Mahanadi river mouth had got aggravated. 
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary AP Padhi had earlier urged the Union Ministries of Agriculture and Shipping to take up the matter with right earnest as nearly 30000 people are directly and indirectly engaged here and 640 mechanised fishing vessels and 100 medium-sized boats operate through this harbor.
APC G K Dhal also raised the issue with Union Secretary Agriculture Shovan Kumar Pattnayak.
Apart from facilitating fishing activity here, this will give a big boost to marine seafood production in the State, said Ramesh Mohapatra, President of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and a major sea food exporter of the State. 

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