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Gangavaram port is planning to expand the capacity by constructing four new berths
VISAKHAPATNAM: On the eve of environmental impact assessment and public opinion gathering exercise on the expansion of Gangavaram port, to be held on May 12, traditional fishermen associations and those supporting the Gangavaram port displaced persons said work should be taken up only after the port management fulfilled all the promises it made to the displaced persons and villagers before the first phase commenced a few years ago.
At a press conference here on Friday, representatives of the Visakha Fishermen Youth Welfare Association, the Gangavaram Port Fishermen Ikya Vedika and other organisations said they were not averse to development since the port has already been established but the management should not continue its attitude of neglecting the traditional fishermen who have been displaced and not keeping the assurances on employment, etc.
Fishermen leaders K. Tata Rao and T. Shanta Ram, T. Shankar of youth welfare association, Arjilli Dasu, K. Korlayya of Ikya Vedika and K. Nandanna of CPI addressed the press conference.
Access to the sea was denied and the repeated pleas to provide a fishing jetty at the Nallamaaramma Paadalu were not heeded; the promise of providing jobs was not kept in full measure and even those given jobs from Gangavaram and Dibbapalem were engaged by an agency of the port and not by the port management and they were paid only half of the wages compared to those recruited by the port directly; the displaced persons were still struggling to get adjusted to the place to where they have been rehabilitated which lacked facilities; the port could be a security risk as there was no watch on the movement of boats and vessels in its vicinity, etc. were some of the points raised by the fishermen representatives.
They also pointed out that the AP Pollution Control Board had allowed expansion of the port in an area declared by the Central Pollution Control Board as the most polluted place and in which no new projects should be allowed.
The Gangavaram Port Limited is planning to expand the port's capacity from 16.54 million tonnes to 41 million tonnes by constructing four new berths.
The coal and iron ore to be handled at these berths would further pollute the area and the sea, they said.
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