KCCI seeks fund allocation for inland waterways development

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on April 05, 2021

Waterways on rivers Netravati and Gurupur will spur economic activity in the region

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has asked the Karnataka government to develop inland waterways on Netravati River and Gurupur River in Dakshina Kannada district, and has sought budgetary allocation for their development.

In a letter to the Director of Ports and Inland Water Transport of the Karnataka government, the President of KCCI, Isaac Vas, said that even though India’s Inland Waterways Authority has identified Netravati River as National Waterway 74 and Gurupur River as National Waterway 43, there has not been any budgetary allocation for implementing them.

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These waterways must be developed and connected to different ports such as Goa, Lakshadweep, Mumbai, Kochi, and Karwar to spur economic activity, he said.

Industries in specific areas

The waterways, if built, will make it possible for boat-building activity to resume and help Mangaluru regain its past glory as a vital boat-building centre. There exists a lot of potential for repairs as well. Vessels up to 100 metre length can be easily taken alongside for repairs, if a good draft of 4-4.5 metres is provided in the river channel, he said.

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Stating that there is a good scope to promote fish meal and fish oil industries in specific areas along the river banks, he said a couple of such industries exist on the sand bar of Netravati River on the southern side. If the waterway is established, this industry can be localised along the river banks.

Stressing the need to promote tourism along the waterways, he said there are seven floating restaurants operational on Netravati River. These restaurants are not able to sail further into the river since suitable waterways are not available. The proposed waterways should develop tourism, thereby generating employment and bringing connected economic benefits to the region. The development of waterways would increase tourism activities in this region.

Immense economic benefits

Referring to the allocation of funds by Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) for waterfront development, Vas said these will complement the plans of MSCL projects for the development of Dakshina Kannada district.

Requesting the government to allocate budget for the development of inland waterways for all-around economic activity, he said the establishment of waterways will provide immense benefits for economic activities connected to movement of cargo, men and material, small shipbuilding and boat building, fisheries, fish meal and fish oil, tourism and water sports.

Published on April 05, 2021

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