Pasni is a coastal town of the province Balochistan, located on the Makran coast in Gwadar District. Over 60,000 people live in Pasni, and fishing is their sole and primary source of generating income and employment opportunities. Because of it, the local people of the town are demanding for the rehabilitation of the fish harbor – which has been closed since 2003. After the closure of the fish harbor, the fishermen are anchoring their boats at a small creek called ‘Juddy Hoor.
There are about 30,000 fishermen in the area and some 6,000 boats. The annual catch estimate is 37,600 tonnes. But since the harbor is dysfunctional and the boats are stuck, the current catch rate is zero. It is leashed around our neck even though fishermen paid several taxes to the government when the harbor was running.
In past, Pasni used to be the economic hub of the whole Makran division and it used to be a mini free port, where cargoes from Dubai and the Gulf states loaded and unloaded. Now, the town is in shambles because the bureaucracy does not want to reopen the harbor_ it has become accustomed to pocketing the grants.
The harbor was constructed back in 1989, which included an approach channel, harbor basin and the berthing area. But for the last 16 years, fishermen of the area are facing severe hardships due to ineffectiveness of the harbor. By the dint of heavy silting as fishing trawlers, they bring large catches which are not able to dock at the harbor.
In 1989, the construction company had informed that as far as monsoon season and sand erosion, after every five years, are concerned, it would need dredging and maintenance on permanent basis.
The harbor needs regular dredging but due to lack of funds it converted into a ground. For berthing boats at least 3 meter water is required. Sadly, silting has caused it to get dried in the current time.
As a concerned citizen of the area, I ask the current government of Balochistan to take concrete measures for the development of the fisheries sector and welfare of the fishermen community in Pasni. We look forward to successful steps taken by the government-in-rule.
The Writer is a student of Media and Journalism at University of Balochistan.