Kochi: A special purpose vehicle has been floated and a sum of Rs 140 crores has been arrived at for modernising the Cochin Fisheries Harbour.
On Tuesday, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) reported of having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for the modernisation project. The Cost of the project is estimated at Rs 140 crores.
MPEDA Chairperson K. S. Srinivas signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his CPT counterpart A. M. Beena and the funds for it will be raised from various Central government schemes.
The 1928-founded CPT runs the harbour which facilitates the berthing and landing of more than 500 vessels.
Commissioned in 1978, the harbour has a daily average landing of 250 tonne fish.
The MPEDA-CPT agreement will see a host of infrastructure facilities which include air-conditioned auction halls, besides a packing hall and bays for loading and unloading.
It will also have an ice plant, a reverse osmosis plant and a rainwater harvesting system besides automation equipment such as tripods, conveyor belts and pallet jacks for easier and better movement of fish within the harbour.
Electrical substations, an effluent treatment plant, a retail market, fish-dressing unit and net-mending area, besides offices, dormitories, a food court, canteen, drivers' waiting area and parking lots for vehicles will also be part of the harbour.
Srinivas pointed out that the MPEDA had proposed to the Centre in February this year to renovate 25 select fishing harbours across the country and the DPR (detailed project report) for Kochi was readied with Ernst and Young as the consultants.
"These 25 major fishing harbours contribute a lion's share of landings in the country for export. At present, India's value addition of marine products is a mere 5 per cent. We must increase it manifold given that the figure for South-East Asian countries is 50 per cent," said Srinivas.
The MPEDA's pact with CPT comes when India has 50 major and 100 minor fishing harbours together contributing 65 per cent in quantity and 45 per cent in value of the country's seafood exports.
The MPEDA formed in 1972 under the Union Ministry of Commerce is a coordinating agency with Central and state-level establishments engaged in fishery production and allied activities.
*with inputs from agencies.