Mangalore’s second fishing harbour, at Kulai, is expected to be ready by the end of 2023, which will bring much joy to the fishing community in Dakshina Kannada,
On Tuesday, the chairman of New Mangalore Port Authority[NMPA], AV Ramana announced that legal hurdles to the ambitious project were cleared, and work on the harbour, estimated to cost Rs 197 crore, is likely to commence soon. “We expect that work on the harbour will be completed within a span of 16 to 20 months,” Ramana said. The project is estimated to generate employment for 2,720 sea-faring fisherfolk, and 1,280 others for shore-based operations. Once completed, the harbour is expected to generate a cumulative income of Rs 55.3 crore per annum for the fishing community. Once operations normalise at the new harbour, which the authorities expect may take up to its fourth year, the Kulai harbour will be able to handle up to 27,100 tonnes of fish, valued at Rs 172.6 crore (boat-side price). These will help ease the burden on the crowded old fishing harbour once completed and augment the supply of fish to both domestic and foreign markets.
Under the ‘PM Gati Shakti’ initiative, NMPA is currently implementing three cumulatively worth Rs 695 crore projects. The NMPA chairman said that the mechanisation of Berth No. 14 for container and other cargo had been entrusted to JSW, on the DBFOT basis. The project is being implemented at Rs 281 crore and is expected to be completed by the end of March. Semi-mechanised operations of containers at the ports had necessitated increasing the capacity. Mechanised operations of containers at Berth No. 14 will help fulfil this requirement and help boost business in Karnataka’s hinterland.
“The port can handle up to 90 million metric tonnes of cargo, but we are handling only 39 million metric tonnes at the moment. Once the operations of the berth turn completely mechanical, the functioning of the multi-purpose cargo berth (no. 17) will be complete by 2024. Moreover, port connectivity is expected to increase the capacity of cargo operations to 70 million metric tonnes in the next two years,” Ramana added.
Meanwhile, under the Major Port Authorities Act, 2021, the New Mangalore Port has now been designated an ‘Authority’, which held its first board meeting on March 4. The re-designation means that the board has the power to enter into contracts, plan and develop the port, and fix the tariff. However, its ambit does not extend to areas concerning national interest and security, or situations deemed as emergencies. The board of each major port is now a local authority and is entitled to create a specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure within port limits.