A fishing harbour at Uppada-Ameenabad off the Kakinada coast is set to become reality with the State government deciding to enter into an agreement with the Government of India and NABARD to obtain a loan of above ₹330 crore for the Uppada-Ameenabad harbour from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) and NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA).
At present, Ameenabad is the safest landing point for above 1,000 fishing boats operating from East Godavari district.
According to GO No. 116 issued on Monday, of the estimated cost of ₹ 350.44 crore, the State government will chip in with ₹20.04 crore
Surada Nageswara Rao, an elderly fisherman of Uppada, said: “We have been waiting for the fishing harbour for over two decades. The Jagan mohan Reddy government appears to be serious about it and we are pinning hopes on it as it has cleared all the financial hurdles.”
“It was only a few years ago that there was visible forward movement, ” recollected Mr. Nageswara Rao, referring to the Environmental Public Hearing on the project held in August 2018.
The Department of Fisheries has proposed to develop the harbour with fish handling capacity of 1.10 lakh tonnes per annum by constructing a 1.5 km-long training wall, enabling 2,500 boats to anchor.
The site— R.S.No. 74-82 — has been readied and topographical and subsoil surveys were carried out by WAPCOS, a consulting agency, while High Tide Line survey was done by Madras University.
The Ameenabad site is the biggest fish landing centre among the 28 landing centres along the 161-km-long coastline in the district.
“Located 20 km from the Kakinada harbour, the Uppada-Ameenabad harbour will be the safest one for landing in these parts in the event of cyclones or bad weather. All the clearances have been obtained, preparing the ground for the commencement of the construction work,” Joint Director (Fisheries-East Godavari) P. Koteswara Rao said.
Of the four harbours in the State, only two — Kakinada and Visakhapatnam — are in full operation round the year, and Machilipatnam and Nizampatnam harbours have mostly been abandoned due to littoral drift, an effect that causes deposition of sand in the navigation channel.