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Measures to improve livelihood of fishermen planned

Rajesh B. Nair

— Photo: T.Singaravelou

A view of the fishing harbour in Puducherry.

PUDUCHERRY: A number of infrastructure projects aimed to improve the livelihood of the fishermen will be implemented in Puducherry and Karaikal regions in the coming months. The Project Implementation Agency has already initiated steps to improve the existing fishing harbours in both the regions, set up work shelters in 17 coastal villages and modernise the fishing markets utilising the credit made available to the Union Territory by the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

For executing the works, the PIA had already floated tenders and in a few cases the process had commenced to select the bidder to take up the work, Joint Project Director, PIA, L. Mohamed Mansoor, told The Hindu. The major work would be to provide additional facilities at the fishing harbours at a cost of around Rs. 45 crore, he said.

Of the total sum meant for the fishing harbours, Rs. 10 crore would be spent to dredge the Ariyankuppam river mouth and make the Thengaithittu fishing harbour operational. The fishermen of Puducherry were finding it difficult to operate bigger boats from the harbour owing to accumulation of silt over the years, he said.

Funds would be utilised to extend the quay on both the harbours, establishment of slipways to raise the boats, affluent treatment plants and modernise the existing auction halls.

Besides, an administrative building for fisheries department would be constructed at the Thengaithittu harbour.

The Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited (WAPCOS), a public sector enterprise under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, has been engaged as the consultant.

While WAPCOS would see the implementation of the project, the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited would monitor the execution of the work by WAPCOS, Mr. Mansoor said.

Under the World Bank assisted programme, 17 coastal villages would be provided with work shelters. Of this, 11 would be constructed at Periakalapet, Chinnakalapet, Pillaichavady, Vambakeerapalayam, Periaveerampattinam, Pudukuppam, Nallavadu, Narambai, Pannithittu and Murthikuppam-Pudukuppam at Puduchery region and the remaining in the six coastal villages of Karaikal.

The reinforced concrete structures on the shoreline would have cabins to store boat engines, nets and other fishing-related equipment. Adequate space would be provided for net mending and solar driers would be fitted on the terrace for drying fish.

The project was expected to cost around Rs. 33 crore.

Wilber Smith Associates, a private infrastructure consulting firm, would be the consultant for the project, Mr Mansoor said.

Apart from these two major projects, the government also proposed establish modern, air-conditioned fishing markets at Puducherry and Karaikal regions.

The market at Puducherry would be established on East Coast Road, near Pakkamudianpet at a cost of around Rs. 14 crore, he said adding the environment clearance was yet to be obtained for the proposed market at Karaikal.

The World Bank had sanctioned Rs. 185 crore for tsunami rehabilitation programme and already a sum of Rs 74 crore had been utilised for housing and other related works.

As per the Bank's norms, all the projects had to be completed by 2011, he added.

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