Bengaluru, (DHNS): The state government is exploring the use of battery-operated motors made in Germany to overcome the shortage of kerosene for fishing boats, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Venkatrao Nadagouda said on Friday. “We had a trial run in Malpe recently and fishermen were not entirely convinced. But there’s a need to find an alternative to kersonese, which is getting dearer,” Nadagouda told reporters. The Centre has reduced kerosene in the public distribution system and the Department of Food and Civil Supplies had “reluctantly agreed” to continue supply, the minister said. “Fishing licences will be issued next month. If the fishing folk are happy, we will look at introducing battery-run motor boats on a large scale.” The battery-run motor will run for 14-18 hours on a single charge and costs Rs 6-7 lakh. Providing subsidy for this will depend on whether or not fishermen want it. The battery, manufactured by a German company called Torqeedo, is optimized for various horsepower options. The Malpe trial had a battery for 10 hp that could power the boat to run at a speed of 16 kmph.
The government is also considering the use of floating jetty to ease the movement of boats. A jetty or pier is used to dock boats. “The traditional jetty leads to the accumulation of silt that makes it difficult to undock boats. A floating jetty will not require space,” the minister said. Goa has introduced a floating jetty. “I have asked a team of officials to visit Goa and study the technical feasibility of the floating jetty. Floating roads too have come up which can handle up to 50 tonnes of weight,” he said. Nadagouda said legislators from Udupi and Mangaluru have complained that the diesel subsidy to fishermen was being misused. “If the subsidy is being truly misused, corrective steps will be taken.” There was no proposal before the government to hike the prices of milk, he said.
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