Mechanised fishing boats in Andhra Pradesh are set to be fitted with bio-toilets under the central government sponsored Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). A Hyderabad-based agency is currently visiting Visakhapatnam to study mechanised boats. Once the scheme works successfully here, the fisheries department will extend it to all fishing harbours across state in a phased manner.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, K Phani Prakash, joint director (fisheries), Visakhapatnam, said, “The team will visit the harbour on Monday. We have been sanctioned a total of 100 bio-toilet units for the fishing harbour which houses nearly 750 mechanised boats.” Each toilet would cost between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000, Phani Prakash said, adding that once the project starts, the government may take the project to harbours at Kakinada and Machilipatnam.
Presently, there are nearly 20,000 fishermen running 2,100 mechanised boats for deep sea fishing. Currently, none of the boats have toilets, and fishermen are forced to relieve themselves in the open, said Arjili Dasu, executive secretary of Visakhapatnam Fishermen Youth Welfare Association.
In the absence of toilets, many fishermen do not relieve themselves for 10–14 days on stretch, which results in health problems, Dasu said. The PMMSY was launched in May 2019 to usher in the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries. The scheme has an estimated investment of Rs 20,050crore. Construction of bio-toilets is part of the scheme.
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