Deflating the BJP-led state government’s repeated claims of fast-tracking inland water project, Union Minister for Shipping, Highway and Road transport Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that the ministry’s request to develop commercial ferry services has been kept at abeyance by the state government.
“We have already requested the Goa government to allow ferry services between hotel or port terminals, we are eager to start the project, but it has been several days since the state is making us wait without granting the No Objection Certificate (NOC). Besides the use of ferry services for mass transport and decongest traffic, we even welcome the private players to invest in similar transportation or leisure services in the inland waters of the state,” he said.
Citing no response from the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar government or related department to his queries, Gadkari suggested that the media take-up the issue with the state government to evoke response for the delay in granting permission.
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Meanwhile, Gadkari said that the Union government is already in the process of preparing DPR worth Rs. 10,000 crore to develop six inland waterways in the state. “Will be meeting the port chairman on Saturday, to discuss the financial mix of the project,” he said.
Central government to allow trawler fishing beyond 12 nautical miles
In a major impetus for fishing sector across the country, the Central government is considering to increasing the fishing area beyond 12 nautical miles under the Sagar Mala project.
“The fishermen will be now allowed to go beyond the earlier restricted territory but within the international waters for fishing operation. Plenty of fishes are available in these waters and it would enable our farmers to fetch five time more yield,” Gadkari said.
For the purpose of acquisition of the fishing trawlers, the Union Minister said that the government will subsidise the purchase by Rs 15 lakh to aid fishing parties.
“A group of fishermen of about 15-25 may collect equity of Rs. 5 lakh and the government will give Rs. 15 lakh subsidy and Rs. 1 Crore as loan from the banks for the purchase of trawlers,” Gadkari said.
The state of the art trawler will be fitted with modern amenities for fishing and will also be monitored via GPS. to prevent fishermen from straying into the international waters.
“The increased fishing will also provide more supply to the fish production and processing units, generate employment, increase investment and exports, develop ports and allied industries” Gadkari said.
The Union Minister via video conferencing was speaking to reporters across 11 states through regional National Information Center on Friday, giving brief account of two years achievement of the NDA government.