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Goa: Dredging of river Sal mouth for smooth navigation runs into rough weather

Posted on August 8, 2022

Captain of Port’s move to dredge the mouth of river Sal to ensure smooth navigational channel for the fishing vessels operating from the Cutbona fishing jetty has run into rough weather.

Angry fishermen from Betul, Bapsora and Rangalli on Thursday have sent a strong warning to the government agencies not to go ahead with the proposal to remove the sand bar from the river mouth without first putting in place a breakwater facility.

The residents gathered near the temple on the Betul side of the mouth of river Sal to convey their strong reservations on the proposed move to remove the sand bar.

They explained that they are not opposed to the removal of the sand bar, but demanded that the government implement the breakwater facility at the river mouth as part of a permanent solution to the problem of hostile navigation conditions at the river mouth.

Fisherman Vinay Tari, who is also the Chairman of the Cutbona-based Fisheries Cooperative Society, said the villagers are of the firm opinion that the proposal for the training wall and the breakwater facility should be implemented first at the river mouth before removing the sand bar.

“This has been the consistent stand of the fishermen and residents of these three areas over the last half-a-decade. During the visit of Fisheries Minister Nilkhant Harlankar to Betul, the fishermen had maintained the same stand and had now again reiterated the same stand,” Tari said.

He added, “These fishermen have been the worst sufferers of the hostile conditions at the mouth of river Sal. For over five years now, their fishing season has been ruined by the adverse and hostile navigation conditions at the river Sal mouth, affecting their fishing activity at the beginning of the new fishing season and their very livelihood.”

Tari said the fishermen and residents have taken a unanimous stand that they will not allow the dredging activity at the river Sal mouth.

“We are not opposed to the dredging per se, but let the government first put the training wall and the breakwater facility in place and then undertake the dredging work,” he said, adding that dredging of the river Sal mouth over the last decade has only provided a temporary solution with the sandbar taking shape at the river mouth every year.

The warning sounded by the residents and fishermen of Betul, Bapsora and Rangalli comes against the backdrop of the decision taken by the Captain of Ports to remove the sand bar with the help of suction pumps and dredging machine.


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