Friday, January 17, 2014

TN Govt taking over Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, Allocates Rs. 75 crs. for face-lift


Giving enough indication that the Tamil Nadu Government is “taking over” the management of Kasimedu Fishing Harbourlocated adjacent to Chennai Port, from the port management very soon, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Jan. 15 gave administrative sanction for upgrading the fishing harbour at a cost of Rs. 75 crores.
According to a Media statement, construction of a 300-metre new wharf at the north breakwater, a 200-metre boat yard to park the fibre reinforced plastic boats, extending the existing boat yard by 140 metres in the northern end, setting up of two new wharfs (each 200-metre long), net repairing centre, deepening the harbour, sanitary complex and other basic amenities would be undertaken using the funds allocated by the State Government.
Through these developmental measures at the fishing harbour, nearly 12, 000 fishermen would be benefited directly while another 15, 000 fishermen and workers would be benefited indirectly, the statement further said.
The 24-hectare fishing harbour constructed by Chennai Port Trust at Kasimedu, located north of Chennai Port, was commissioned in 1983. Since then the harbour is home for more than 1000 fishing crafts including the big sized mechanized trawlers and small fibre boats.
The harbour is managed by Fishing Harbour Management Committee (FHMC) comprising representatives from different stakeholders including Chennai Port Trust, Police Department, Fisheries Department, Chennai Corporation and fishermen unions. However, Chennai Port plays the lead role and manages all the day-to-day activities of the harbour.


Since the hundreds of fishermen, who were using the harbour facilities for years, had blamed the Chennai Port management of being lethargic in renovating the facility that was badly damaged in the 2004 killer Tsunami, a proposal for handing over the management of the fishing harbour began about 18 months ago.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, Mr. K. Bharathi, president of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association (SIFWA), said: “Several fishermen associations, who were unable to pressurize the Chennai Port management for immediate renovation (of the damaged wharf) despite repeated announcements of fund allocations since 2005, approached the Tamil Nadu Government authorities for a final solution.”
“After two rounds of discussion with the stakeholders in the last 18 months, we came to know that the Chennai Port management agreed in principle to hand over the management of the fishing harbour to Tamil Nadu Government and the process has reached its final stages,” he added.
It may be worth noted here that barring the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, management of all other fishing harbours in the State are in the hands of Tamil Nadu Government.
“The announcement of spending this huge sum for the upgradation of fishing harbour is indirectly sending the message to the whole fishing community depending on Kasimedu Fishing Harbour that Tamil Nadu Government is finally taking over the facility very soon,” Mr Bharathi further claimed.

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