Kulai fishing harbour to be completed within 18 months

2:04 PM, Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

MT-KrishnababuMangaluru : The Kulai fishing harbour, which is almost entirely funded by the Centre, will commence shortly. New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), which is executing the project, has received five bids for construction of breakwaters as a precursor to the harbour, and the tender is expected to be finalised soon. While breakwater construction has to be completed within 18 months, the entire project should be ready within three years.

M T Krishna Babu, chairman, NMPT, said the estimated cost of this much-touted project is Rs 196 crore. While the ministry of shipping will contribute 50% of the cost, NMPT will pitch in with 45% share, and the state government will contribute the remaining 5% cost, he said. The port is constructing the harbour to compensate fishermen from Panambur who lost out owing to construction of the port under the Mangalore Harbour Project.

Noting that the fishing harbour has been taken up under the ministry’s ambitious Sagar Mala project, Krishna Babu said a project monitoring committee for the construction of the harbour at Kulai has been set up. Pune-based Central Water and Power Research Station has approved the design for the breakwater, the chairman said, adding it has effectively addressed the question of sand erosion that takes place on either side of any newly-constructed breakwater.

Incidentally, the ministry for agriculture and farmers’ welfare, the nodal ministry for fisheries sector, in August 2017, had given the green signal for construction of an all-weather fishing harbour at Kulai. The project that was conceptualised in the mid-1960s has been the demand of families of fishermen, who were displaced when the Mangalore Harbour Project was initiated for construction of New Mangalore Port, and has proved to be a mirage for the displaced fishermen.

On completion, Kulai harbour is expected to house 600 traditional fishing and 450 mechanised boats that are presently dependent on the congested harbour at Bunder, thereby reducing pressure on the primary harbour. It will also provide a new base for fishermen who operate from Mulki to Boloor. The project assumes importance in that the phase III expansion of the existing harbour at Bunder has not taken off for various reasons thus far.

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