Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (HB/SP)
Udupi, Feb 25: The slipway built at a cost of crores of rupees at the third port at Malpe has turned into a mass of filth now.
During the last nine years since the slipway was built at Baputhota, Malpe, at the third phase of Malpe port, it has turned into a waste dump. The entire area around the slipway has been covered by grass and stinking because of non-maintenance.
The slipway had been built for the specific purpose of pulling mechanised fishing boats to the ground for repairs. But due to certain developments, the slipway went to Tebma Shipyard where commercial ship construction was undertaken. As the slipway was not of any use for the fishing boats, the fishermen had protested. In 2005 and 2008 the fishermen had organized large scale protests.
After meetings with the participation of the chief minister twice, it was decided that Tebma Shipyard would build a separate slipway for the fishermen. Accordingly the slipway was built in the third phase plan. During the six years since it was completed, the slipway is not used by the fishermen and the area has become a residence for dogs and the entire area has full of grass and rusted steel. As the slipway has rusted, boats cannot be pulled up now.
The Malpe fishermen's union has requested the government to hand over the slipway to it so that it will pay a fee to the government and recover a reasonable fee from the boats and provide good facilities to boat owners. Currently, the boat owners have to spend heavily to shift their boats out of water. President of the association, Krishna Suvarna, says that they are opposed to handing over the slipway to a third party for maintenance on the basis of tender as proposed by the department. A decision needs to be taken before the region becomes a breeding ground for infectious diseases.