Mangaluru, July 1, 2016: At the third stage of the Malpe fisheries harbour, it is ’choco block’ with no space to anchor or move mechanised boats, fishermen have been demanding that a fisheries jetty be set up at Padukere village to berth additional boats.
The congestion is so severer that the first, second and third stages of the harbour are bursting at seams with mechanised boats. What is adding to the problem is that the number of mechanised boats has increased in the last few years.
The problem of berthing is worse in monsoon as it is off-season and all the mechanised boats are anchored. All the boats are berthed close to one another at the basin of the third stage. Nearly nine to 12 boats are berthed closed to each other in rows at the quay of the third stage. In order to avoid crushing of boats during strong winds, the fishermen have tied tyres around them so that there is no damage to the body of the boats.
There are nearly 1,900 mechanised boats at the Malpe fisheries harbour. A fisherman owning three trawl boats, said that since there was no other alternative, the fishermen had to berth their boats close to one another. “Often in strong wind conditions, there is clashing and friction between the boats,” he said.
An experienced fisherman said that with the number of boats increasing every year, a jetty at Padukere was a necessity. “It is not just the number, even the length of boats has increased,” he said. Bowing to this demand, the Fisheries and Ports Division has submitted a renewed proposal of Rs. 21.5 crore for the construction of a jetty at Padukere to the Department of Fisheries in Bengaluru.
The proposal envisages construction of a jetty to berth about 500 boats at Padukere, located opposite to the third stage. The jetty would be 500 metre long and five metre wide on the left side of the Udyavara. It would have a 7.5-metre wide concrete road running along the jetty.
“We are pursuing this matter with the higher authorities,” said T.S. Rathod, Executive Engineer, Ports and Fisheries Division. However, a fisherman with three trawl boats, said that a 500 metres wharf would not be enough.
“The government should sanction at least a 2,000-metre long wharf taking into consideration future needs. Many boats which could not be berthed at the first, second and third stages are being berthed at the jetty at Hungarcutta village,” he said.