'Dredging of fisheries ports will be taken up before monsoon'

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Udupi, Karnataka, Apr 18 (UNI) Karnataka Fisheries Minister B Nagaraja Shetty today said the much-delayed dredging work of fisheries ports along the State's coast would be taken up before the onset of monsoon.

Addressing newspersons after attending the 'Suvarna Arogya and Ahaara Mela' here, he said that as the Cabinet was scheduled to meet tomorrow, he was visiting fisheries ports in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district to oversee the implementation of various programmes and projects to submit his report to the Cabinet.

He said the Government had decided to procure the dredger in Kerala, given by the Centre for taking up dredging work, and the Kerala Government had approved it. The entire amount of Rs seven crore for taking up dredging activities had now been transferred to the Port Ministry and the Centre would provide a matching grant.

Soon after availing the dredger from Kerala, work would commence at the most critical locations along the coast such as sea mouth before the onset of monsoon.

Mr Shetty said the Ministry had taken up survey of all fisheries ports for identification of key spots which needed immediate dredging and identification of critical points which needed immediate temporary protection from sea erosion.

He said the Ministry had proposed to have a concrete fisheries road parallel to the national highway along the coast from Talapady to Karwar at an approximate cost of Rs 1,000 crore. The required fund for this project would be raised from financial agencies like the Asian Development Bank or HUDCO.

Mr Shetty said the State Government had released Rs ten crore this year for the revival of Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation (KFDC) and an equal sum to provide housing for the poor fishermen, appointing KFDC as the nodal agency. The Government had released Rs 4.12 crore towards clearing all bank dues and salary arrears of KFDC employees.

To a query, the Minister, also holding the Endowments portfolio, said a committee, headed by retired High Court Judge Rama Jois, would submit its report within four months on the issue of amending the Endowments Act, 2003. The Government would take suitable steps to amend the Act as it had given an undertaking in the court to set right the lapses in the Act, he added.


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