Odisha CM urges Centre to take up dredging of Mahanadi river mouth and channel

22 Mar 2017

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today urged the Union minister Nitin Gadkari to direct the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) to take up dredging of the Mahanadi river mouth and the navigational channel for smooth navigation of fishing vessels.
"I would request you to issue appropriate instructions to PPT to take up dredging of the river mouth and the navigational channel urgently for smooth and safe navigation of fishing vessels," Patnaik wrote to the Union shipping minister. Stating that Paradip fishing harbour is a major fish landing centre in the east coast, Patnaik said about 640 mechanised fishing vessels and 100 FRP boats operated there. Besides, about 30,000 people were engaged directly and indirectly in Paradip. The harbour was developed under the centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1996. The PPT has been managing and maintating the harbour before 2011.
"The port authorities had taken up dredging of the navigational channel during 1997-98 but since then no maintenance dredging has been carried out," Patnaik said. According to the chief minister, presently the fishing harbour is being managed by a management society having suitable representations from the fishermen and other stakeholders. It is reported that the depth available at the river mouth is less than one meter though the fishing vessels require a minimum depth of four meters for smooth and safe navigation. The fishermen have been demanding for dredging of the river mouth for reduction in accidents which are showing an increasing trend, he said.
The Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery, Bengaluru, has reported that due to the beach nourishment work taken up by the port tust for protection of the sea wall, the siltation at Mahanadi river mouth has been aggravated and no remedial measures have been taken to arrest the movement of sand towards the river mouth and navigation channel, Patnaik said.