15 September 2007 – Coastal fishermen in Mangalore have begun fearing for the sanity of their beaches. With two cargo freighters being ‘intentionally’ grounded near Taneerbavi beach has pushed the fishermen to make so many inferences including a deep rooted fear of the Taneerbavi coast being turned into a ship repairing or even ship breaking unit.
Some senior fishermen leaders who are in the helm of affairs at the state and national fishermen bodies have chosen to tell media persons on conditions of anonymity that Mangalore has started attracting large industrial houses in marine sector including the ship breaking and ship repair and building company. The fears stems from the fact that a huge chunk of land of Bengre village has been purchased by a local person and it was likely to be re-sold to an industrialist of Aland in Gujarat. This place is known for its ship breaking unit.
The fishermen leaders who were incensed at the incident of two freighters considerably older in age namely the Eritrian freighter M.V.Den Den capsizing in mysterious conditions and secondly the St. Vincent Island registered Chinese freighter M.V. Chang Le Man also being ‘intentionally grounded’ very near to the beach. They now feel that this ‘hideous incidents’ of seafaring vessels near the Taneerbavi beach is going to be a regular feature and sometime in the near future one of the ships will be taken up for repairs near the beach. This event as they foresee it, if at all occurs will be a beginning of a regular ship repair unit and later it could be a ship breaking unit too.
The Chang Le Man which is anchored in the outside anchorage of the New Mangalore Port, the fishermen feel is not yet in the sailing condition and there are fears that its hull might have developed some problems and it might not be in a position to ‘sail away’ to its natural destination and the repair work cannot be taken up in Mangalore as there are no facility available in the city’s maritime installations. The next alternative is to create a small facility to begin with repairing Chang Le Man.
Fishermen agree that they are reading too much into the ‘seemingly freak’ incidents involving Den Den and Chang Le Man, but it is too wild that two freighters being in trouble in the same place in just two months time. The fishermen bodies in Mangalore are digging deep into their fears and are watching the developments.
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