Paradip, June 9: The Paradip fishing harbour, one of the largest along the eastern coast of the country, is now being refurbished.
“As a part of the refurbishment plan, the auction hall of the harbour would be renovated shortly. The bidding process for the Rs 5.72-crore project has come to an end. We hope work will start for the makeover very soon,” said assistant director of fisheries (marine wing) Rabi Narayan Patnaik.
The auction hall is the most vital component of the harbour as trading of the fish produce takes place at the hall.
The existing storage facilities for the fish produce there are considered inadequate to meet the growing trade.
Lack of infrastructure and funds constraints for periodic maintenance had led to the fast-decline of the sanitation standard of the harbour. Odisha’s major exporting centre of marine fish produce faced threat of export ban by international fisheries bodies for its lack of infrastructure.
The refurbishment project is expected to plug these deficiencies. Besides, it would have an advanced effluent treatment plant to maintain sanitation and cleanliness in and around the harbour, the official said.
The Union agriculture ministry had sanctioned funds for the harbour’s development. The infrastructure development programme will be taken up in a phased manner. The National Fisheries Board has released the Rs 5.72 crore grants for infrastructure refurbishment plan of the harbour.
“The infrastructure refurbishment programme is getting under way shortly with the central grants. The Union ministry has committed to release more grants in various phases. We are hopeful that the harbour would get a facelift and would attain international standards,” said the fisheries assistant director.
As the harbour has come under the sole control of the Odisha government since September last year, there would be no more financial constraints for its growth and modernisation. Earlier, the harbour was under the dual ownership of Odisha government and the Paradip Port Trust.
The fishing harbour, commissioned in 1996, has earned the distraction of being Odisha’s largest exporter of marine produces, mainly sea fish. An estimated 3,500 metric tonnes of high-grade shrimps are exported mainly to European countries every year from this fishing hub.