KARACHI: Pasni Fish Harbour has been practically rendered inoperative because of heavy silting and no dredging for the past several months, forcing fishermen to berth at a small creek called ‘Juddy Hoor,’ fishermen and officials have said.
The harbour, which is located east of Pasni, Balochistan, was constructed back in 1989, which included an approach channel, harbor basin and the berthing area. But for the last around two years, fishermen of the area are facing severe hardships due to ineffectiveness of the harbour due to heavy silting as fishing trawlers that bring large catch are not able to dock at the harbour.
In 2010, the government of Japan extended a grant of Rs800 million for the rehabilitation of the harbour. However, since then the progress on the project is moving on a very slow pace and the authorities have still not completed initial work to start maintenance work at the harbour.
Muhammad Iqbal, managing director Pasni Fish Harbour Authority (PFHA), however, claimed that the provincial government is all set to revive the harbour as soon as possible. “There are several issues and the most important one is the silting due to which harbour is ineffective.”
He said that the Balochistan government is doing its best to revive and maintain the harbour to facilitate fishermen of the area. It may be recalled that the Japanese assistance came after the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani, made personal efforts in 2009 to invite donors’ assistance for the project.
Iqbal said that a Dutch consultant has been hired and the consultant has been given the task of survey, maintenance and supervision of the harbour. In December, the consultant has completed the survey and a presentation to the Balochistan government has already been made.
The project director, who is also secretary fisheries, will monitor the whole project and in this regard a delegation has gone to Netherlands. When harbour was built back in 1989, the construction company had informed that due to monsoon season and sand erosion after every five years it will need dredging and maintenance on permanent basis.
Managing director PFHA said the harbour needs regular dredging but due to lack of funds it turned into a ground. For berthing boasts at least 3 meter water is required and currently it’s dried due to silting, he added.
In 2009, the Karachi Port Trust had also informed the chief minister Balochistan that a major fault lies with the PFH breakwater design, which has to be redesigned to avoid frequent silting. They said that KPT dredger dumps silt into the open sea in order to avert early silting; however, breakwater design is faulty due to which early silting takes place. PFHA should procure its own dredger to conduct dredging on regular basis to avoid early silting, officials said.