Muthalapozhi harbour action-taken report is incomplete: Minority panel

Grave discrepancies found in the number of deaths reported by coastal police & fisheries dept
Dredging activities are going on at a snail’s pace at Muthalapozhi harbour mouth in Thiruvananthapuram
Dredging activities are going on at a snail’s pace at Muthalapozhi harbour mouth in Thiruvananthapuram File photo

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Against the backdrop of the increasing number of accidents and deaths at Muthalapozhi harbour, the Kerala State Minority Commission held a special sitting on Friday to take stock of the situation. The commission expressed dissatisfaction with the reports submitted by the deputy director of the fisheries department, the executive engineer of the harbour engineering department, the Anchuthengu coastal station officer on behalf of director of the fisheries department, the secretary of fisheries and the port department, the district collector and the chief of coastal police.

Dredging activities are going on at a snail’s pace at Muthalapozhi harbour mouth in Thiruvananthapuram
Rise in boat accidents sparks safety concerns at Muthalapozhi harbour in Kerala

“Around seven studies were conducted on the rising number of accidents and deaths at Muthalapozhi since the establishment of the harbour. We sought to know about action taken by the fisheries department and other government agencies based on those reports. They submitted an incomplete report,” a commission official said.

The commission also found grave discrepancies in the number of deaths reported by coastal police and fisheries department. “According to the fisheries department, there had been 27 deaths at the harbour, while the number with the coastal police authorities is 23,” the official added.

Observing that the reports are partial and incomplete, commission chairman A A Rashid directed the concerned departments to come up with a comprehensive report before the next sitting on May 28. The panel had taken up suo motu the perilous situation at Muthalapozhi harbour.

The state government had roped in Pune-based Central Water and Power Research Station to conduct a detailed study of the situation at Muthalapozhi harbour and come up with solutions. The agency proposed a `164-crore project, including extension of the breakwater at Muthalapozhi.

Though the state government submitted the report to the Centre for approval under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) scheme, no response has been forthcoming.

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