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Karnataka government mulls construction of new ports at Karwar and Mangaluru

Karnataka Fisheries Minister Mankal Vaidya unveiled plans for extensive development in coastal districts—Uttara Kannada, Udupi, and Dakshina Kannada—focusing on fisheries, inland waterways, and ports. Key initiatives include boosting fishing tourism, building ports, aiding the fishing community with fuel provisions, and addressing CRZ challenges. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah plans to launch fishing vehicles in Bangalore on World Fisheries Day.

Karnataka government mulls construction of new ports at Karwar and Mangaluru vkp
First Published Nov 10, 2023, 9:34 AM IST

Karnataka Fisheries Minister, Mankal Vaidya, announced plans for comprehensive development in the coastal districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi, and Dakshina Kannada. Following a meeting at Vidhansouda, the minister highlighted key focus areas, emphasizing the development of fisheries, inland waterways, and ports in these regions.

During the discussion, the authorities outlined strategies for enhancing inland water transport and boosting fishing tourism across the three coastal districts. The plan involves various developmental initiatives, including prioritizing tourism, providing berthing facilities for boats, and establishing new ports in Karwar and Mangaluru. While the estimated cost is pending the completion of a detailed project report, the investment could range from one thousand crores to a significant amount for the port constructions.

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In a move to promote tourism, the authorities have identified a total of 13 islands in these districts, contemplating the potential for public-private partnerships to supplement tourism activities.

The minister also addressed the concerns of the fishing community, announcing an increase in the annual diesel quantity allocated to fishermen from 1.50 lakh kilo litres to two lakh kilolitres. Additionally, in the absence of the central government's annual kerosene oil distribution despite repeated appeals, there’s a provision for selling 200 litres of white petrol at a subsidized rate of Rs 35 per litre for 10 months, with a cap at 300 litres, to support the fishermen.

Highlighting the challenges faced due to stringent Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, Minister Vaidya discussed the allocation of 1,015 crore sanctioned under the central government's Sagarmala scheme to the state. The regulations have posed difficulties in utilizing the funds since 2017. However, there’s been a slight relaxation in the CRZ rules, allowing for various developmental activities along the 320 km coastline. The proposed costs under the Sagarmala project will be prepared and presented for approval in the upcoming Water Transport Board meeting.

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Moreover, on the occasion of World Fisheries Day on November 21, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is set to launch fishing vehicles in Bangalore, enabling the sale of coastal fish directly to fish enthusiasts in the city. These vehicles, equipped with fridges, weighing machines, and other amenities, will cater to the demand for coastal fish, with 8 lakh units on offer.

Interested individuals, upon paying a security deposit and a monthly fee of three thousand rupees, can apply for these vehicles. They will be subject to returning the vehicles once they are no longer required, securing a refund of the security deposit. Initially, 150 fish vehicles will be operational in Bengaluru in the first phase, facilitating the direct sale of fish from the coast to the city residents.

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