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Sandbars leave Chapora trawlers ‘grounded’; dredging demanded

Mapusa: The fishing ban has come to an end, however, the Chapora trawler owners’ wait to venture into sea has still not ended. The reason being the formation of sandbars at the mouth of Chapora river. The trawler owners will have to wait for some more weeks before they start with their fishing activities.

For last number of years, the trawler owners have been facing problem of sandbars. They have raised the issue at various platforms and were also assured of a permanent solution, but nothing has happened till date. Like every year, this season too, the trawlers lie anchored along the shore. The Chapora trawler owners’ association cooperative credit society has got around 80 registered trawlers of which around 50 venture into the sea.

Former chairman of Chapora boat owners’ association Balbhim Malvankar said that “while trawlers from all other places have already got back into fishing activity, we are still waiting to venture out and if we do so the trawlers will get damaged due to the sandbars. For the past 10-12 years, we have been raising the issue with various government departments, but in vain.”

Expressing ire over delay in construction of breakwater at the mouth of the river, trawler owner Sunil Sirsaikar said that “nobody is showing interest in solving our problem. The government should look into the issue and do something about
it.”Another trawler owner Gokuldas Parab said that “the depth of the river needs to be increased so that our trawlers can go safely into the sea.”

They have appealed to the government to undertake dredging at the mouth of Chapora river so that trawlers can venture out smoothly. [NT]

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