A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed towards the construction of a dedicated berth at a cost of Rs 50 crore at the Port Office at Mangaluru Old Port on Wednesday.
The MoU between the government of Karnataka and the administration of Union Territory of Lakshadweep was signed by Minister of Textiles and Ports Baburao Chinchansur and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep administrator Rajesh Prasad.
The minister, who spoke after signing the memorandum, said that the construction of a jetty will facilitate a hassle-free transport of goods from Mangaluru to Lakshadweep. “After a meeting with Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Monday, a memorandum was submitted to the State government to provide a relaxation in the implementation of the CRZ rules, so as to carry out the development works at ports,” he added.
Funds for project
“Also, financial assistance of Rs 200 crore will be provided for the integrated development of ports in the State including AIS and radar installation, data information system, dredging work and amenities at the ports in the State. An ADB project worth Rs 911 crore has been taken up towards the sustainable development of the coast,” the minister said.
UT Lakshadweep administrator Rajesh Prasad said that as there was a series of processes from providing a detailed project plan till the administrative approval, the initiation of work may take place only after six months.
“The Lakshadweep administration has also been carrying out the construction of a berth at Kochi port. The project will be implemented by the PWD. As per the agreement, the funds will be deposited with the government of Karnataka,” said the administrator.
Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal said that a separate jetty was a long-pending demand of the people residing in Lakshadweep, for the transport of daily commodities from the Mangaluru port. “At present, the vessels bound to Lakshadweep have to wait in queue, to load the goods at the port. There is a lack of facilities such as shelters, toilets, and other amenities,” he added.
The Parliamentarian, meanwhile, requested the minister to construct temporary sheds, till the work was completed, to store the goods, which are now kept in the open wharf.
‘Establish maritime board’
Mangaluru South legislator J R Lobo urged the minister to set up a maritime board and an advisory committee towards construction of the jetty. He also requested the minister to facilitate dredging on a regular basis, so that the minimum depth of seven metres can be maintained at the old port, which is the basic requirement for large vessels to anchor.
Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Dakshina Kannada Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar and Lakshadweep PWD Executive engineer Muhammad Malik, Mangalore Port Superintending Engineer K R Jambale and others were present on the occasion.