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Odisha CM asks centre for ‘Mahanadi-river-mouth’ dredging

Odisha chief minister Mr. Naveen Patanaik today 22 March 2017 made an official request to union shipping minister Mr. Nintin Gadkari for the dredging work of Mahanadi river mouth to ensure the safety of sea-going fishermen.

“I request you to issue appropriate instructions to Paradip Port Trust authorities to take up dredging of the river mouth and the navigational channel urgently for smooth and safe navigation of the fishing vessels”, Patnaik’s letter to Gadkari drafted today said.

It is‘ reported that the depth available at the river mouth is less than 1 meter though the fishing vessels require a minimum depth of 4 meters for smooth and safe navigation. The fisherfolks have been demanding for dredging of the river mouth for reduction of accidents and casualties, which are showing an increasing trend, Patnaik expressed concern through the letter.   

The Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery, Bengaluru has reported that due to the beach nourishment work taken up by the Port Trust for protection of the sea wall, the siltation at the Mahanadi river mouth has been aggravated and no remedial measures have been taken to arrest the movement of sand towards the river mouth and navigation channel, the letter iterated.

Paradip Fishing Harbour is a major Fish Landing Centre on the east coast, where 640 mechanised fishing vesseis and 100 medium size boats operate. About 30,000 people are engaged directly and indirectly there.

The Harbour was developed under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, which was completed during 1996. Before the year 2011, the management and maintenance of the Fishing Harbour was being done by Paradip Port Trust. The Port authorities had taken up dredging of the navigational channel during 1997-98 but since then no maintenance dredging has been carried out.

Currently, the Fishing Harbour is being managed by a Management Society having suitable representations from the fishermen and other stake holders.

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