Naveen urges center for dredging of Mahanadi river mouth

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari to issue instructions to Paradeep Port Trust authorities to take up dredging of the Mahanadi river mouth and the navigational channel urgently for smooth and safe navigation of fishing vessels.

In a letter to Gadkari, Patnaik said that Paradeep Fishing Harbour is a major fish landing center on the east coast, where 640 mechanized fishing vessels and 100 FRP boats operate.

About 30,000 people are engaged directly and indirectly there, he added.

The Chief Minister said the port authorities had taken up dredging of the navigational channel during 1997-98 but since then no maintenance dredging has been carried out.

He said currently the fishing harbor 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 1 meter though the fishing vessels require a minimum depth of 4 meters for smooth and safe navigation. The fishermen have been demanding for dredging of the river mouth for reduction of accidents and casualties, which are showing an increasing trend,” said the Chief Minister.