THIRUVANANATHAPURAM: The Harbour Engineering Department (HED) is on the lookout for a new consultant for performing the environment impact assessment (EIA) for constructing a breakwater for the proposed Valiyathura harbour.
Earlier, the department had hired another agency for the work, but the agreement had to be scrapped to comply with a Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stipulation that only MoEF-accredited agencies are to be roped in for such work.
This being the case, HED has now invited bids from accredited agencies for taking up the EIA for the breakwater, which will act as protection for the harbour from huge waves, an HED official said. A model study conducted earlier by the HED had affirmed that the site was indeed feasible for establishing a fisheries harbour. But the formal techno-economic feasibility study report is yet to be submitted.
Once constructed, the breakwater will ensure an inlet to the harbour, which is 450 metres wide. There has been a growing demand for a fisheries harbour at Valiyathura to ensure a safe work environment for the thousands of fishermen in the region.
Now, the fishing craft are beached in a cove. The new harbour, once it becomes a reality, is also expected to generate jobs for 5,000 people.
The Theeradesa Netruvedi has urged the State Government to redesign the Muthalappozhi Harbour by increasing the length of the breakwater.
Although crores of rupees were spent on Muthalappozhi, which connects the backwaters to the sea ten months a year, the initiative has not proved useful for fishermen.
Major shortcomings in design has rendered Muthalappozhi a failure, Netruvedi president Veli Varghese said in a statement.