VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday announced that work on the AP Fisheries University, to be established in West Godavari, will commence in the next three or four months. He laid the foundation stones on virtual platforms for four fishing harbours constructed at accost of Rs 1, 510 crore at Nizampatnam in Guntur district, Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Uppada in East Godavari district and Juvvaladinne in Nellore district in addition to 25 aqua hubs coinciding with the World Fisheries Day.
Jagan Mohan Reddy said that works on the harbours would begin by December 15 on the completion of tender process. He said four fishing harbours would also be constructed at Pudimadaka, Budagatlapalem, Biyyaputippa and Kothapatnam. He stated that ports are coming up at Machilipatnam, Ramayapatnam and Bhavanpadu at a projected cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
He said, “Despite having the second-longest coastline of 974 km, the lack of facilities are compelling fishermen to migrate to other states and those caught in international waters are being jailed in other countries. Moved by their plight, we launched Matsyakara Bharosa and steps are being taken to develop fishing harbours and aqua hubs to provide employment and marketing facilities to aqua products.”
The Chief Minister said that the AP Fisheries University will provide expert training and guidance in aquaculture.
“To boost aqua culture in the State and improve the lives of fishermen, we have proposed eight fishing harbours, aqua hubs and infrastructure facilities for marketing of aqua products at Janata bazars at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore. The government will develop an aqua hub in each constituency with an outlay of Rs 225 crore. Four fishing harbours and 25 aqua hubs were taken up in the first phase,” he pointed out.
Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that the government has enhanced Matsakara Bharosa from Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 and directly credited Rs 102 crore into the accounts of 1.02 lakh fishermen in 2019 to compensate the annual fishing ban period.
Extending support to them during the Covid, Rs 110 crore was disbursed in May, six months before the actual dateline, benefiting 1.10 lakh fishermen. He further stated that the government had increased the fuel subsidy from Rs six to nine per litre, which can be redeemed instantly at 87 recognized petrol bunks and also provided power at Rs 1.50 per unit and the total subsidy of Rs 720 crore is borne by the government. In case of accidental death, the State has doubled the ex-gratia to Rs 10 lakh.
Jagan Mohan Reddy pointed out that the previous government had completely neglected fishermen and aquaculture. He said that the lives of aqua farmers will be completely changed in the coming one year. He stated that in order to create more opportunities for fishermen, three more ports would be undertaken at Machilipatnam, Ramayapatnam, and Bhavanapadu.
The Chief Minister said the state government has recruited 794 people as fisheries assistants in Village Secretariats to assist fishermen and aqua farmers.
Ministers S Appala Raju, Botsa Satyanarayana, Agri Mission Vice-chairman MVS Nagi Reddy, Fisheries Department Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah, Commissioner Kannababu and other officials attended the event.